St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert Haida witnessed the tears of a family, heard the pleas of a sister and considered a gunman’s too-late remorse. Through all that he saw an 86-year-old Cahokia man who was shot, who was left for hours to bleed and then was left incapacitated to possibly spend the remainder of his life in a nursing home.
Prosecutors made a deal for 15 years with 23-year-old Ceonta Jackson. Haida on Monday said it wasn’t good enough.
“You entered an 86-year-old man’s home where he lived for 50 to 60 years. For 50 years, he cared for the home; he paid for the home. It was the only thing he had left,” Haida said. “And then beyond that, you shot him. You didn’t have to do that. It was bad enough. I cannot agree that 15 years is an appropriate sentence. I cannot agree. I do not agree.”
Jackson was sentenced to 22 years in state prison. He must serve nearly 19 years before he can be considered for release.
Jackson apologized, but then showed his remorse was not so much for what he did when he shot 86-year-old Henry Wicker in the knee. He was sorry for himself.
“But most of all, I owe myself an apology.”
Haida deserves credit for giving Jackson more time to think about who really deserves an apology, “most of all.”