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Charges dropped in October shooting

The charges against a Lauderdale County man accused of shooting a Franklin County resident in the hand in October have been dropped.

Namath Joe Jackson, 33, of Waterloo, has been cleared of the first-degree robbery and first-degree assault charges he was arrested for in October.

According to Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing, a call was placed to the Franklin County 911 Center on Oct. 8, 2010, where the caller stated there had been a possible shooting on Arnold Road outside of Phil Campbell.

When sheriff’s deputies arrived, they discovered a 31-year-old white male who had been shot in the hand one time.

According to the victim, he had seen people walking around in a field near his residence.

The victim said he was confronted by Jackson and, after a struggle, Jackson shot the victim in the hand one time before fleeing from the scene with items belonging to the victim.

Rushing said after during the investigation of the crime, some discrepancies in the facts of the case came to his attention.

“After Jackson was arrested, serious questions arose about his guilt in the case,” Rushing said. “Numerous alibi witnesses came forward claiming Jackson was with them at the time of the incident.”

Rushing said he also received video surveillance from a gas station near the Tennessee state line that showed Jackson buying cigarettes at the time the incident supposedly took place.

“We also asked the ABI to administer a polygraph test, which Jackson agreed to take even when he was informed the results could be used against him in court,” Rushing said. “He passed the polygraph test and the test showed no deception at all.

“Based on this information and the video surveillance placing him near the Tennessee state line when the incident took place, we decided to drop all charges on Jackson.

“We regret the case proceeded to the point it did and we appreciate Mr. Jackson’s cooperation in clearing up this matter.”

Jackson’s defense attorney, Rebecca Green Thomason, said she finds it very upsetting Jackson was wrongfully accused.

“What is upsetting is not the DA’s office or the job they’ve done because Namath has maintained this entire time that he believes Joey Rushing is doing a good job,” Thomason said.

“What’s upsetting is that someone can claim injury and identify a person who could not have possibly been there.

“Because of the accusation that Namath was ‘armed and dangerous’ at the time, he was surrounded and detained at his home when he had agreed to peacefully turn himself in to authorities in order to get this situation cleared up.

“This created problems for his family and extended family and put them and the officers who arrested him in a potentially dangerous situation – all because someone made a false accusation.”

Even though this has been a bad situation, Thomason is glad her client was cleared of the charges in the end.

“I am thankful Namath has been vindicated and his name has been cleared,” Thomason said. “This just proves that justice will triumph in Franklin County.”