Jury selection begins for trial of former University of Iowa student

The former student, Alexander Jackson, was charged with first-degree murder for the alleged shooting of his family in June 2021.

Alejandro Rojas, News Reporter

The jury selection process started for former University of Iowa student Alexander Jackson on Tuesday, who was arrested and charged in June 2021 with first-degree murder for the alleged killing of his family.

Jackson, 22, was arrested after he called 911 claiming that a masked intruder had shot him and his family at their Cedar Rapids home.

Officers responding found 68-year-old mother Melissa Jackson, 61-year-old father Jan Jackson, and 19-year-old sister Sabrina Jackson dead from gunshot wounds. They also found Alexander Jackson shot in the foot.

The suspected weapon was a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle, which Alexander Jackson said he had cleaned the night before the killing with his father.

A possible motive for the shooting, according to a criminal complaint, was Alexander Jackson’s father telling him to either find a job or move out of the family residence.

Alexander Jackson was charged with three counts of first-degree murder in July 2021, a Class A felony in Iowa. Class A felonies are punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Since his arrest, Alexander Jackson has been held in Linn County Courthouse on a $3 million cash-only bond.

Both Alexander Jackson and his sister were UI students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Potential jurors filled out questionnaire forms Tuesday, and the prosecution and defense will begin questioning those jurors on Wednesday. The trial will start later this month.

Court documents from July 2021 stated Alexander Jackson would plead not guilty to all charges, and he also waived his right to a speedy trial. He will be represented by public defenders.