Home / National News / Veteran charged with killing black man in NYC in likely 'act of terrorism,' prosecutors say

 

(NEW YORK) — James Harris Jackson, an Army veteran from Maryland accused of killing a black man in what authorities said was an interstate mission to attack black people in New York City, was
arraigned Thursday in court on murder charges.

Jackson, 28, is accused in the fatal stabbing on Monday of Timothy Caughman, 66, on 9th Avenue in Manhattan. Jackson was formally charged today with murder in the second degree.

On Wednesday, NYPD Assistant Chief Bill Aubry said during a news conference that Jackson, who served in Afghanistan, has a deep-seated hatred of black people. He allegedly wrote a manifesto about
attacking blacks in New York City, police said.

“It is believed that he was specifically intending to target male blacks for assault,” Aubry said. “The reason why he picked New York is because it’s the media capital of the world and he wanted to
make a statement.”

According to the criminal complaint, Jackson allegedly was “regarding the killing as practice prior to going to Times Square to kill additional black men.” The complaint also said that Jackson “had
stalked numerous potential victims” and “was angered by black men mixing with white women.”

Assistant District Attorney Joan Iluzzi-Orbon said today the charges were expected to be upgraded once the case goes before a grand jury because of the motivation for the crime.

“The defendant was motivated purely by hatred,” Iluzzi-Orbon said today. “Additional charges could include murder in the first degree, as this was most likely an act of terrorism.”

Outside court, Jackson’s attorney, Sam Talkin, said he would consider an insanity defense for his client.

“If the facts are anything near what the allegations are, then we’re going to address obvious psychological issues present,” said Sam Talkin after the arraignment. “We are going to let the dust
settle and take a few minutes.”

Police said Jackson had been harboring these feelings toward black males for more than 10 years.

Before Monday’s fatal stabbing, Jackson traveled from Baltimore, Maryland, to New York on Friday and stayed at a hotel, police said. Video surveillance footage captured him walking around the city.

The stabbing occurred around 11:15 p.m. Monday, as Caughman, a can and bottle recycler, was rifling through the trash, police said.

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jackson turned himself in at a police substation, according to police, and said “You need to arrest me, I have knives in my pocket.”

According to Aubry, after Jackson described the crime and where he had disposed of the weapon, police recovered a 26-inch black mini sword and sheath inside a trash bag in a park, which
investigators believe to be the murder weapon.

Aubry said that Jackson did not attack anyone else.

On Monday, after the attack, Caughman walked to a police precinct and collapsed. He was later pronounced dead at Bellevue hospital, police said.

No plea appears to have been entered at this time and no bail application has been made. Jackson is due back in court March 27.

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