Man found guilty of murder in brutal Green Line beating for 2nd time

It took two hours for the jury to return the verdict against Anthony Jackson at the end of a three-day trial.

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Leighton Criminal Courthouse

The Leighton Criminal Courthouse.

Sun-Times file

A man who won a new trial after his conviction six years ago for brutally beating a fellow commuter to death at a CTA Green Line station was found guilty for a second time on Thursday.

It took two hours for the jury to return the verdict against Anthony Jackson, 53, after a three-day trial in Cook County Judge Ursula Walowski’s courtroom.

Jackson was represented by his brother, George Jackson, whose courtroom antics and behavior ahead of his brother’s second trial led to him being barred from the courthouse for a time and fined for contempt.

Anthony Jackson was recorded by multiple surveillance cameras on March 16, 2013, as he attacked Sanchez Mixon, 37, with a flurry of punches then repeatedly kicked and stomped on Mixon’s head on the platform of the 43rd Street Green Line station.

Jackson stopped the attack after battering Mixon to the ground amid shouts for him to stop by other mid-morning CTA riders. But when Mixon made a small movement as he lay sprawled on the platform, Jackson returned and jumped into the air, landing on Mixon’s head with his feet a final time.

Mixon died of multiple blunt-force injuries that caused bleeding in his brain, the medical examiner’s office concluded.

Jackson was convicted in 2015 of first-degree murder but won a new trial after his brother and their aunt, who is also an attorney, argued the lead defense attorney on the case drank during breaks and had not watched the CTA surveillance videos of the attack until after the trial began.

George Jackson, a former federal prosecutor, presented a rambling and often difficult to follow defense of his brother at trial this week.

In closing arguments Thursday, George Jackson talked to the jury for more than hour and claimed his brother was defending himself when he beat Mixon because Mixon had stared at him. George Jackson claimed his brother had a “heightened awareness” of Mixon’s “nuanced” and “subtle” movements as he walked toward him because of crime in the South Side neighborhood where the station is located.

Anthony Jackson

Anthony Jackson

Cook County sheriff’s office

Only one of the three defense witnesses called to the stand offered testimony to establish those claims as fact. Anthony Jackson’s sister, Eunita Taylor, said after dropping off her brother at the station that morning he had returned to her van minutes later and said he had been in a fight and was scared.

“He said, ‘I had to defend myself,’” Taylor said. “He kept saying, ‘I had to defend myself.’”

Another defense witness was a man who testified largely about the measurements between various points at the station, and still another who described her attempts to find experts who could enhance the surveillance video, which did not include audio, and read lips from it, neither of which was successful.

At the start of the trial, George Jackson pledged to not say anything negative about Mixon and urged the jury to pay close attention to the surveillance video, which he said would show his brother acted in self-defense.

George Jackson said Tuesday he intended to call witnesses who could testify to Mixon’s mental health history, including an employee of Community Cares Chicago, a facility where Mixon had stayed the night before the attack.

But a day after naming the employee, George Jackson abruptly announced he would not call that witness.

George Jackson clashed frequently with the judges variously assigned to the case in the years before his brother’s second trial, including filing motions that accused one judge of conspiring against Anthony Jackson with prosecutors and calling the entire Cook County court system a “puss-filled (sic) sack of dishonesty.”

Another judge, who reviewed the defense attorney’s rambling, fantastical motions fined him $500.

George Jackson also became the subject of a protective order sought by the state’s attorney’s office, after he sent what the office said were threats and inappropriate messages — including a bouquet of flowers — to prosecutors. Jackson was barred from the courthouse, then had to be escorted in and out of the building by sheriff’s deputies.

George Jackson was frequently been hours late to hearings, or missed court dates entirely. In one 14-page motion, he spun a fictional yarn in which prosecutors conspire with a made-up judge to convict an invented child rapist and drug dealer named Guy “Meatman” Black.

In a rambling, 28-page motion seeking to move the trial outside of Cook County, George Jackson described both himself and his brother as the victims of a virtual conspiracy perpetrated by judges and prosecutors.

“Cook County Criminal Court Judges before who Attorney Jackson has appeared, without exception, have concertedly manifested a street-gang psychosis of protecting its imagined turf and fellow members instead of following the law,” Jackson wrote.

Following the verdict, George Jackson abruptly announced he would be withdrawing as his brother’s attorney ahead of sentencing.

Walowski appointed an assistant public defender to represent Anthony Jackson at his next hearing on July 13.

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