|For Immediate Release
October 24, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
PAROLE DENIED THREE YEARS FOR INMATE CONVICTED OF STABBING-MURDER OF MAN AND ATTEMPTED MURDER OF VICTIM’S GIRLFRIEND
SANTA ANA – The Board of Parole Hearings, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations (Board) denied parole for three years today for an inmate who stabbed and murdered a man and attempted to murder the victim’s girlfriend. Thomas Eugene Jackson, 57, is currently being held at the California State Prison, Solano in Vacaville. He was found guilty by a jury of one felony count each of first degree murder and attempted murder and was sentenced Dec. 15, 1978, to seven years to life in state prison.
Deputy District Attorney Matthew Lockhart appeared at the hearing today to oppose parole and read an emotional statement before the Board on behalf of victim Sandra Cree, who explained that her life has drastically changed since the attempted murder and that she is no longer the same person.
“Since that day, my outlook towards life and people has changed. I’m very insecure. I’m untrusting. I’m defensive, hateful, angry. I’m always expecting that good people could really be murderers. I don’t trust my own judgment. All the dreams I ever had of growing up and having children and living happily ever after were ripped from my heart. Those feelings were replaced by unfamiliar anxiety infringed on me by the criminal actions these defendants inflicted on myself and Jimmy. I was scared to death. And I still am that these guys will someday get out and come here and kill my whole family because I testified against them.”
Circumstances of the Crime
At approximately 7:30 p.m. on March 29, 1977, Jackson entered the home of victims James Harbin and Cree with four other co-defendants. The inmate’s co-defendants pistol-whipped Harbin and prevented Cree from escaping by threatening her at gunpoint. The inmate and his co-defendants tied up Harbin and Cree and bound Cree to a banister. Jackson then slashed Cree’s throat multiple times with two knives.
Harbin broke free and attempted to run away. Jackson pursued him and stabbed him 35 times, murdering him. After the murder, Jackson returned to Cree and stabbed her several times to make sure she was dead.
Cree survived and escaped to a neighbor’s home after the defendant and his group had fled.
Threat to Public Safety and Failure to Accept Responsibility
After claiming for decades that he was forced to commit the crimes at gunpoint, Jackson finally admitted in 1991 that he went to the apartment to murder Harbin and intended to murder Cree to avoid leaving a witness at the scene. However, the inmate still minimizes his involvement in the case by maintaining that