DeWitt Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Threats Made to Federal Law Enforcement Agents and a Former United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Arkansas
LITTLE ROCK—Multiple death threats, including repeated threats to FBI agents and a former United States Attorney, earned a Dewitt man 40 years in federal prison. Clayton Jackson, 35, whose legal address is in Minnesota but who was living in Dewitt when the original threats were made, received the 480-month sentence from United States District Court Judge Susan Webber Wright on Wednesday.
Jackson originally pleaded guilty on November 2, 2020, to all five counts of an indictment that charged him with three counts of threatening to assault and murder a federal official and two counts of mailing threatening communications. Each of the five counts carried a maximum 10-year sentence. On Wednesday, Judge Wright sentenced Jackson to the maximum 10 years on each count, and then ran the sentences for counts 1 through 4 consecutively, and count 5 concurrently, to arrive at the 40-year sentence. There is no parole in the federal system.
At his change of plea hearing, Jackson admitted that he mailed two letters to the FBI headquarters in Little Rock, one in February 2020 and one in March 2020, which threatened to kill multiple FBI employees who he believed were involved in an unrelated criminal matter. Both letters were signed by Jackson. After the FBI received and reviewed the correspondences, an FBI special agent not named in the letters interviewed Jackson. During the interview Jackson admitted that he sent the letters and reiterated his intention to kill the people named in the letters. During the interview, Jackson said that the letters were “not a threat, but a promise,” and acknowledged that he knew it was a crime to send those letters, but said “I can’t be sentenced forever” when emphasizing his desire to kill the FBI employees. Jackson was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 4, 2020.
At the sentencing hearing on Wednesday, an FBI special agent testified that after indictment, Jackson continued to write letters threatening to kill the same people named in the original letters, as well as additional civilians not originally named. The FBI received three letters that Jackson wrote while in custody, which stated his intention to escape from prison and kill additional people, including former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas Cody Hiland. According to testimony on Wednesday, the most recent letter, in which Jackson stated there was a “price tag” on two civilians, was dated March 11, 2021, and addressed to the “White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.” Additional testimony Wednesday detailed an unsuccessful escape attempt by Jackson from Prairie County jail on March 7, 2021, in which Jackson assaulted a local prison guard.
“This defendant’s repeated threats against law enforcement were a failed attempt to intimidate those who have sworn to protect and serve,” said Acting United States Attorney Jonathan D. Ross. “This lengthy sentence should serve as a warning: threats like these will not be tolerated and will not prevent law enforcement from doing their important work of protecting our communities.”
“We are pleased with the Court’s decision regarding Clayton Jackson today,” said FBI Little Rock Acting Special Agent in Charge Jason Van Goor. “We take any threat against law enforcement seriously, and we believe Mr. Jackson’s 40-year sentence will serve as a warning to anyone thinking about threatening federal agents and officers. As always, we are grateful to our partners at the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas for their tremendous work on this case.”
In explaining her sentence, Judge Wright highlighted Jackson’s continued criminal conduct after indictment and his lack of remorse.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Chris Givens.
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Updated March 31, 2021