The Journal Gazette
Saturday, July 31, 2021 12:01 am

85 years given for murder at motel

'Callous indifference' in death of woman, 19

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

Thomas Jackson's actions caught on video at the Rodeway Inn angered Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull.

“She falls. You do nothing. She's bleeding out. You do nothing,” Gull said Friday just before she sentenced Jackson to 85 years, the maximum sentence allowed for one count of murder with a gun enhancement. 

Gull said she'd seen a lot in her nearly 30 years on the bench, but the video outside the hotel room Angel May Carter and Jackson, 40, shared and where he shot her Aug. 9 showed total disregard for his victim. 

“Your absolutely callous indifference to this young woman is astounding,” Gull told Jackson as he sat in her courtroom, dressed in orange and white prison stripes. 

His attorney, Robert Gevers, asked the judge for 55 years with an additional 10 for the gun enhancement, a request she also overlooked in light of Jackson's extensive criminal history in Mississippi, Illinois and Indiana. 

Carter, 19, wanted to change Jackson, her older sister Ann Wicker said. The young woman “full of laughter and full of love thought she could be a better person” if she could help Jackson overcome some unnamed obstacles in his life and give up alcohol, Wicker said. 

The strain got to be too much for her and she was trying to break up with him. 

“She tells you she's done,” Wicker said, “and then you do what you did to her. I wake up every morning and message her. I wake up every morning and call her. I come up here (to Fort Wayne) and I realize she's gone.” 

Carter's mother, Dawn Hipshire, shook with sobs when she spoke before Gull, clutching photos of her daughter. 

“We pray every day: where's the justice for Angel? Where's the justice for her family?” Hipshire said. Her daughter dreamed of a country wedding, a dream cut short “because that monster took her life.” 

Another older sister, Ashley Korn, had a similar message. “She told me she loved you and you took her life. She's looking down on us and making sure she gets justice for what you did to her,” Korn said to Jackson. 

Jackson told Gull he wanted to seek an appeal.

Michael Carter, Angel Carter's father, thanked the prosecutors but said he has his eye on more justice for his nieces Danielle Carter and Kayla Fries Harris, who were shot Nov. 9, 2017, in front of Harris' home in the 200 block of East Sherwood Terrace. Carter was shot 10 times and survived. Harris and a friend, Nicole Saylor, both died that night. 

“I just don't want you guys to forget their case,” Michael Carter said.

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