NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An Army veteran from Baltimore pleaded guilty Wednesday to murdering a black man in a racially motivated attack nearly two years ago in New York City.
James Jackson, 30, fatally stabbed Timothy Caughman, 66, in the back with a sword on March 20, 2017 near Times Square.
Jackson told police he traveled to the city to pull off a “political terrorist attack” and “inspire white men to kill black men, to scare black men, and to provoke a race war,” according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
Jackson pleaded guilty to all charges against him, including murder in the first degree in furtherance of an act of terrorism and murder in the second degree as a hate crime. He is expected to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole – the maximum sentence allowed.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said this is the “first conviction of a white supremacist on terror charges in New York State.”
“White nationalism will not be normalized in New York. If you come here to kill New Yorkers in the name of white nationalism, you will be investigated, prosecuted, and incapacitated like the terrorist that you are. You will spend your life in prison without possibility of parole because there is no place in our city or our society for terrorists – ‘domestic’ or otherwise,” he said in a statement.
“This resolution won’t bring back Timothy Caughman, a beloved New Yorker who was executed for being black on a midtown street corner,” Vance added. “It won’t reverse the alarming rise of white nationalism in America. It is, however, the loudest message that a civil society can send to would-be terrorists, and I thank our prosecutors and the NYPD Detectives whose tireless work enabled us to secure this landmark conviction and send this very loud message today.”
Jackson was in the Army from March 2009 to August 2012 and worked as a military intelligence analyst, according to the Army. He was deployed in Afghanistan from December 2010 to November 2011 and earned several medals.