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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 9, 2011

Man Who Shot Two On Blue Ridge Parkway Sentenced

Ralph Leon Jackson To Serve Life Plus 35 Years For Actions

HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA -- A Stuart’s Draft man who pled guilty in March to shooting two people at a scenic overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway last April, was sentenced this afternoon in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

Ralph Leon Jackson, 57, previously pled guilty to one count of assaulting Christina Shay Floyd with the intent to commit murder, one count of using and discharging a firearm, a Harrington & Richardson 20 gauge shotgun, during and in relation to a crime of violence, one count of the premeditated murder of Timothy Phillip Davis by shooting him with a firearm and one count of using and discharging a firearm, a Harrington & Richardson 20 gauge shotgun, during and in relation to the murder of Mr. Davis.

As part of his plea agreement, Mr. Jackson agreed to a lifetime of federal incarceration for the murder count. This afternoon he was sentenced to serve an additional 35 years total for the two gun charges. That sentence must be served consecutive to the lifetime sentence he was previously ordered to serve. In addition, Jackson was sentenced to 240 months incarceration, to be served concurrent with his life sentence, for his assault on Christina Floyd.

“When Ralph Leon Jackson shot two strangers on the Blue Ridge Parkway in April, 2010, he victimized our entire community,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “His actions took the life of Timothy Davis, a loss from which his family will never recover. But for the courageous response of his second victim, Christina Floyd, he would have killed another. The random nature of this crime caused fear among many people, particularly those who enjoy the beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Today’s sentence ensures that the defendant will forever remain where he belongs – inside of a federal prison.”

Jackson has admitted that on the evening of April 5, 2010, he drove to the Rock Point Overlook in Augusta County. There, he encountered two strangers, Christina Floyd and Timothy Davis. While sitting inside his car, Jackson fired a shotgun at the two friends, striking Davis and causing him to fall to the ground. He exited his vehicle and continued firing, hitting Floyd, who then fell to the ground as well.

After placing his gun down, Jackson began throwing rocks at Floyd, causing two skull fractures and a broken finger. Ultimately, Floyd was able to flee the scene and was picked up by a passing motorist and taken to safety. In addition to the head injuries, Floyd also had a collapsed lung caused from being shot in the chest. Mr. Davis died four days after the attack from injuries sustained by the shooting.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office, the Augusta County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Park Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Anthony Giorno and Ronald Huber are prosecuting the case for the United States.

Updated April 14, 2015