A man who turned himself in last week for fatally stabbing a 66-year-old man in midtown and said he came to the city to hurt black men was indicted Monday on several charges, including first and second degree murder as an act of terrorism.
Baltimore’s James Harris Jackson, 28, stabbed Timothy Caughman in the chest and back at about 11:15 p.m. on March 20, as Caughman was sorting through garbage on Ninth Avenue and West 36th Street, police said.
Jackson, who served in the U.S. military in Afghanistan, apparently chose the city for the attack because “it’s the media capital of the world and he wanted to make a statement,” Chief of Manhattan Detectives William Aubry said last week.
Jackson was also charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime and three counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
“James Jackson prowled the streets of New York for three days in search of a black person to assassinate in order to launch a campaign of terrorism against our Manhattan community and the values we celebrate,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement.
Jackson, 28, faces a sentence of mandatory life in prison without parole if prosecutors are able to convince jurors that he murdered Caughman as an act of terrorism – with intent to coerce a civilian population, influence government policy through coercion and affect the conduct of a unit of government.
The indictment was read during a court appearance on Monday, but Jackson did not enter a plea. Jackson’s lawyer, Sanford Talkin, declined comment on Monday.