Bail reduced for woman accused of fake cancer claims

News-DemocratJune 16, 2014 

The woman who police said faked terminal cancer to get donations will have to post less bail to get out of jail, but not much less.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Jan Fiss reduced Alissa Jackson's bail from $100,000 to $75,000 with the conditions that she have no contact with the complaining witnesses, obtain a mental health evaluation and complete any recommended treatment and submit to electronic monitoring.

Patrick Kilgore, Jackson's lawyer, requested the bail be lowered to $30,000 or $40,000. Assistant State's Attorney Heidi Epperson objected to any reduction.

Jackson, the 31-year-old mother of five, faces two counts of felony theft by deception.

For months, Epperson said she told her husband and children that she was dying of ovarian cancer. Friends and family organized spaghetti dinners, pizza sales, T-shirt sales to raise money. They also put the family on a meal train.

But Belleville police said Jackson, 31, never had cancer.

Epperson told Fiss that she wasn't concerned about Jackson fleeing, but was concerned about her safety because of what must be "a severe mental health issue."

Kilgore argued that Jackson had a history of mental health issues and he intended to get her evaluated before trial.

"I'm glad the bail didn't get lowered as much as she wanted," said Jen Huelsmann, a former supporter who attended Monday afternoon's court hearing. "The biggest victims were her children. Before she is allowed to return to them, she should get some mental health treatment."

Huelsmann said Jackson faked terminal cancer for 2 1/2 years before she was found out.

Jackson wore yellow scrubs and rubber sandals to court. She shuffled into court without looking at the gallery and faced the judge during the hearing. After the hearing, she didn't look at her former friends and supporters. She began to cry as a bailiff led her from the courtroom.

Jackson's family also attended the hearing, but declined to comment following its completion.

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