His family asked for leniency and one of his former lawyers said he saw a changed man sitting in the jury box, awaiting his fate on a charge of aggravated battery.
But Trameil Jackson’s crimes and penchant for carrying firearms around the city led to a 20-year prison sentence for the Feb. 11 shooting of two men in the area of Decatur Road.
Originally charged with attempted murder, Jackson, 24, pleaded guilty in June to aggravated battery. During the course of the proceedings against him, his connections to the local street gang M.O.B. were documented, including a description of the gang’s name tattooed across his stomach.
During Monday morning’s sentencing hearing, however, Jackson insisted he was through with the life he’d been living.
I’m thankful for the change, he said. I’m done with this lifestyle.
Jackson said he intended to start a nonviolence program to help young men in the community.
He apologized to his two children, one born shortly after he was arrested in this case, and his parents for making bad decisions and for trying to be something he wasn’t.
Before his sentencing, Jackson’s aunt and father said he was not the monster portrayed in the media and in court.
You try to raise your kids to make the right decisions, said Jackson’s father, Tracy Jackson. Sometimes you fall short.
Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Jason Custer said he wasn’t trying to portray Jackson as a monster, but to give the court accurate information about him.
He’s been a scourge on Fort Wayne, Custer said.
Allen Superior Judge John Surbeck said he would not consider Jackson’s gang affiliations, but did consider his criminal history, especially the multiple handgun charges as a juvenile and an adult, in sentencing him.
He sentenced Jackson to 20 years in prison.
As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, an additional case of carrying a handgun without a license was dismissed as was the more serious charge of attempted murder in this case.
Jackson joins his older brother, Traneilous Jackson, in prison.
The 25-year-old Traneilous Jackson is serving a 60-year prison sentence for his role in a drive-by shooting on an ambulance and a car behind it in September 2012.