wants to win a case at any price, even at the expense of an innocent
person, or a defense attorney who wants to win a case for the price
paid by a defendant who is out to fool the court to a very great
On August 19, 2007, a shooting took place in front of Jimmy Buffet’s
Margaritaville Restaurant at 3555 Las Vegas Blvd. South, inside the
Flamingo Hotel and Casino, which started with a fight between feuding
Four innocent bystanders — three of them tourists — were injured by
the gunfire. One of them was a young woman, Brittany O’Dale, who was
in Las Vegas celebrating her bachelorette party when she was shot in
her leg by a bullet shot by Robert Jackson.
Jackson was identified as the shooter by Eric Pratt, who testified
before a grand jury that he witnessed Jackson, who was wearing a
green, collared shirt, fire into the crowd.
According to investigators the green shirt was recovered from a trash
can and Jackson’s DNA was found on the shirt.
Jackson was arrested in Chicago, Illinois and extradited to Las Vegas
almost three months ago. District Judge Linda Bell set his bail at $1
million. Judges have lowered his bail several times as the case has
lingered in the courts since his arrest in 2011.
Finally he was put under house arrest, which includes a monitoring
bracelet and a 6 p.m. curfew.
During his time on the lam, Jackson lived in New York, Florida and
Washington, and changed his name. At the time of his arrest, he
claimed that his name was Sa-El and that he had diplomatic immunity
because he was a member of the Moorish Nation, a religious group based
Jackson’s defense attorney, Tom Pitaro, who we have to admit is a very
good attorney, said in court documents that Jackson was unaware there
was a warrant for his arrest and he was moving around “trying to
figure out what he wanted to do with his life.” The attorney also said
that Jackson needed to be released from house arrest because he needs
to take care of his elderly grandparents and that his wife is
expecting their second child and he needs to move freely to be with
Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez recently released Jackson from the confines
of house arrest and he is now free on $250,000 bail.
These are the times when I wish I could be a mind reader to find out
what these judges have in place of brains.
And with all due respect to Mr. Pitaro, I wonder if he could tell us
who was taking care of Jackson’s supposed elderly grandparents while
he was running from state to state, enjoying his life, making love to
his girlfriend (now his wife) and procreating children; and how his
release seems justified while Brittany O’Dale, who continues to suffer
pain as a result of her injury from Jackson’s irresponsible shooting
into the crowd, and who now has a titanium rod from her knee to her
ankle, has had to pay thousands of dollars in ongoing medical bills,
and has even seen her marriage fail.
How can these judges allow anybody to fool them with the statement
that Robert Jackson was not aware there was a warrant for his arrest
when his case had been featured on “America’s Most Wanted” five times
and he was named in the U.S. Marshals’ 15 most wanted fugitives? Oh
yes, Jackson was too busy traveling and making children.
Jackson’s trial has been delayed three times and is now set for June
2014. I can feel the frustration of the Clark County prosecutors and
hope they don’t have to see this case fall through the cracks with the
blessing of some judges.
The names of those judges should be remembered next year during their
Perly Viasmensky is the General Manager of the Las Vegas Tribune. She
writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Perly Viasmensky,
email her at pviasmensky@lasvegas tribune.com.