The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday afternoon that Andre Jackson, a suspect in the July 28 killing of an Italian tourist in Little Rock, was arrested on an outstanding capital murder warrant two months after being mistakenly released from prison due to a miscommunication between state and local officials.
Jackson, 32, was located at a Days Inn near the Little Rock Airport on Wednesday afternoon. “Pulaski County investigators [and] state and federal agencies have been working around the clock for several days trying to locate him,” a statement from the sheriff’s office said. Jackson is accused of killing Carlo Marigliano, a visitor from Naples, Italy who was fatally shot while driving on North Shackleford Road in West Little Rock. Two other suspects were arrested last year in connection with the murder.
The fact that Jackson was no longer in custody was first reported on Monday, but he was released by the Arkansas Department of Correction from the Tucker unit on March 16. For almost two months, his absence appears to have gone unnoticed by authorities: The docket shows Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herbert Wright didn’t issue a new warrant for Jackson’s arrest until last Friday, May 11. How did a man charged with capital murder walk free from a maximum security state prison while still awaiting trial?
At the time Jackson was arrested on August 4 for the murder of Marigliano, he was out on parole for an unrelated offense, possession of a controlled substance. The new arrest caused his parole to be revoked, which meant he was to be remanded back to the state to complete the remainder of his sentence for the pre-existing offense. Solomon Graves, a spokesperson for ADC, said county officials returned Jackson to state custody on December 19.
“On January 22 … staff working in the department’s Classification Office became aware of his previous arrest for Capitol Murder and made a notation in his electronic record,” Graves said in a statement. “Information provided to ADC management [Monday] indicated that the notation was not adequately referenced during the release process.” So, when Jackson completed his sentence for the drug possession charge, on March 16, ADC released him.
However, Graves told the Arkansas Times on Tuesday, ADC staff did call Pulaski County officials before doing so.
“In March, when staff was beginning the release process — which is about a two- or three-day process that we undergo for all inmates that are discharging or paroling out of ADC — they contacted the Pulaski County Circuit Clerk’s office. They asked, “do we have a conviction for this guy?” They were told no. They contacted the Pulaski County Sheriff’s department and asked, “are there any active warrants for this guy?” They were told no.”
Jackson has yet to stand trial, so he’s not yet been convicted of a new crime. Because he was arrested for Margliano’s murder in August, he also had no active warrants. Cody Burk, a lieutenant and public information officer with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, said ADC failed to call the right phone number to ask whether the county needed Jackson to be remanded back to its custody.
“That extension has been around since the ’90s — for over 25 years,” Burk said. He said he’s provided ADC with a list of numbers to make sure every clerk at all 21 ADC units has the proper extension to call about extraditions to Pulaski County, though he stressed that it has not changed recently. Burk said it’s a routine matter for the county to pick up an inmate that has completed his time at ADC.
“We do this on a daily, weekly basis — we go down there and pick people up for court and things like that. … I’ve never known anything like this to happen before,” he said.
But Graves said Pulaski County never sent ADC a detainer for Jackson. A detainer, he explained, is a document from “a local law enforcement agency that says one of two things: ‘When John Doe is released, notify us; or, when John Doe is released, tell us and we’ll come and pick him up.'”
Burk acknowledged that the county seemingly never issued a detainer for Jackson, but he argued ADC should have known it wanted the inmate back, considering Pulaski County officers had transported him from Tucker on two occasions. “We were down there twice, picking him up for a capital murder charge and bringing him back to court and back,” he said.
Asked whether it was a mistake that Pulaski County didn’t issue a detainer, Burk said, “we don’t issue detainers on everything.” The fact that the sheriff’s office picked up Jackson repeatedly “should have been flag enough … if we’d had no interaction with him, then we should have let [ADC] know.”
Graves acknowledged that ADC staff were remiss in not following up more extensively, given the notation in Jackson’s file. “Regardless, we should have taken additional steps to follow up on the information we had noted,” he said. But Graves also said a detainer is typically lodged with ADC when felony charges are filed against an inmate.
When a new inmate enters the prison system, Graves said, ADC runs a background check in the Arkansas Crime Information Center database, or ACIC, to see if the individual has additional convictions or active warrants. In Jackson’s case, that “was initially done in January and done again in March, and that is in part what led our staff to contact Pulaski County.”
Asked whether the fact of Jackson’s unresolved capital murder arrest itself — which is a public record — should have caused ADC to wait before it released the inmate, Graves said the department had little choice. “Once you complete your sentence, we have no legal recourse to maintain custody of you … after that mark,” he said. “A notation was made in his electronic record. It’s not an issue of staff not knowing. It’s an issue of what staff was told by Pulaski County.”
Nonetheless, he said, on ADC’s end, “there should have been some additional ‘Hey, but what about this?’ There weren’t those extra questions.”
As for the Pulaski County Circuit Clerk’s office, chief deputy Brandon Wood said in a statement that “the clerk’s office is not part of the standard line of communication regarding