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Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Birthday to a HORSE THIEF KILLER

Jaci Rae Jackson

Emotions run rapid over the theft of Southern University of Arkansas Rodeo Team horses. Jaci Rae Jackson, from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and freshman student at SUA was arrested on December 5th. The arrest came the day before Jaci's 19th birthday awaking in Columbia County Detention Facility wearing an orange jump suit and ankle bracelets.

Southern Arkansas University police chief  Eric Plummer stated that Jaci, also a member of the SUA Rodeo Team was arrested and charged with six  felony counts related to the November 2nd horse theft from the University Muleride Stable in Magnolia, Arkansas. Additionally, a Featherlight horse trailer and various horse tack was also stolen. The charges include three counts of Class B Felony theft of property over $25,000 and three counts of Class C Felony theft of property between $5000 and $25,000.  Jackson is also being held on three felony charges issued by the state of Oklahoma, including bringing stolen property into the state, knowingly concealing stolen property, and cruelty to animals.

Rewards for the missing animals were quickly posted nation wide. High Tech media broadcasted information daily past along through Facebook, Twitter and Myspace. Shortly later, the horse trailer stolen was discovered, located in Oklahoma. Later, the horse tack also located along with four of the five horses which were found on November 15th.  The horses had been tied to trees on a farm abandon. Each left to die from starvation and dehydration. The fifth horse, Credit Card, owned by SAU student Shaun Smith, was found dead on November 25th.

Jaci Rae Jackson arrest photo 2011
Authorities indicated Jaci's involvement in an affidavit by an informant stated, "She wanted the horses dead." Credit Card was shot in the head, throat cut and later mutilated. The affidavit further indicates the horse was shot by William "Billy" Hamilton boyfriend to Wendie Cox, Jackson's mother. Additionally stating that Jackson watched as Credit Card was executed. All five horse were located on property near Wendie Cox's home.

Represented by attorney, Michael Lusk, Jackson's plea of   "Not guilty" was entered during her hearing. Bond was set at $100,000 in Arkansas as she awaits extradition to McCurtain County, Oklahoma to face charges there for bringing stolen property into the state, concealing stolen property, and cruelty to animals.  Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ryan Phillips asked the judge for additional conditions to Jackson's bond, including no contact with the victims in the case or presence on the SAU campus.

The majority of the SAU Rodeo Team was in attendance for the hearing Wednesday afternoon, which nearly filled one side of the courtroom.  Among them was team coach Rusty Hayes.  Interviewed outside the courtroom by reporters, Hayes stated,  " We are still in a state of disbelief and numbness."

Mickie Lynn Carter and Charles Tramble were both arrested on warrants charged for knowingly concealing stolen property, which is a felony. Carter and Jackson’s Mom, Wendie Cox are cousins. According to court room documents, Cox told Carter that “there was a horse trailer at her - (Carter's) house and that it was full of tack that she could help herself too.” Cox has denied having any first-hand knowledge of the events surrounding the theft.

Other warrants are still pending as the investigation continues. However, no warrants have been issued for William "Billy" Hamilton in this case as of yet, Hamilton is wanted for failure to pay child support and on another case for cattle and live stock thief.

Cowboy Justice     
As this case becomes more heated by the minuted, I can not help ponder the facts as many rumors fly. In the informants affidavit, it alleges Jaci Jackson wanted revenge because of rape. Although the SAU Rodeo Coach and the University Police Chief have both dismissed this as a lie, Jackson's nor her attorney Michael Lusk have made any comments to this report.

100 years ago, a community would rather act as a lynch mob for justice. Handling a horse thief, was quickly as finding a rope to "Hang Her." Today, many feel the same way. However, we have a justice system in place that protects the rights of those wrongfully accused. As much, that system does punish those who commit crimes. It doesn't always work or the end results becomes shocking. Nevertheless, this system is innocent until proven guilty.

What would Nancy Grace say?  

Nancy surely would be very graphic and detail to the cruelty of this case. She would take every shed of evidence and have a field day as she did in another recent trial the world watched. For several years all we heard about was how Casey Anthony was the worst scum on earth.  Most found Casey guilty and became shocked when a jury found her innocent.  As Google will likely indicate Casey Anthony in the top ten names most searched during 2011, Jackson too, is becoming a drama case with followers of innocents and those ready to hang'her  high. 

What would Doctor Phil say?

I'm sure our fellow Texan, Doctor Phil realizes this is a girl that needs some serious help. If  he had only spent some time with her November 1st, surely the history would be different. Some things do not add up. However, it is not for us to understand. It is for the jury and the court to find her innocents or guilt.  It's for her attorney to paint a picture where a jury has no choice but feel she is innocent or that there is a lack of evidence. It's the job of the prosecutor to bring to light all the evidence that shows her guilt and the police can not afford to make error in their investigation. If anything, Doctor Phil would likely share one of his quotes - "Sometimes you have to make the right decision, and sometimes you have to make the decision, right." 

One rumor is she stole the horses to buy a good barrel racing horse. Would it take such a crime to come up with enough horses to find one top notch barrel racing horse?  I don't buy it. She apparently has had a good enough horse to earn what every equestrians seeks, too wear that piece of gold, we call a trophy buckle.  I contacted a former friend of Jaci who was in a photo where they both won buckles for barrel racing. However, because the other young girl in the photo desired to not be associated with Jaci, we respected her right to not post it.  Additionally, another good reason not to buy on the rumor is her family had enough money to buy a good horse if need be. She did make the $100,000 bail and for High School graduation, the family all visited Punta Cana. Surely a trip to the tropical beaches and the resort hotel for the whole family is enough means to afford another barrel horse. 

Rape, I can see some of those boys sure wanting to jump in the sack with this girl based on her looks, prior to her prison photo. Perhaps there might have been some advances. Maybe. some rejections, but had she been raped, I believe that horse would have been dead much sooner. If this is a revenge with such hate, I don't believe killing the horse two weeks later, expresses an act of rape. 

I'm not her and have no idea what could have been in the thought process of this young girls mind.  I think she and her family likely would be the type of folks to sue the college for everything it's worth had it been rape on a school campus. They would have come forwarded with the report to the police. Plus if she wanted revenge so badly, hell,  she could have shot the horse or poisoned it in the barn at Muleride Stables.

I feel this goes deeper. I think she had to be angry at the team. She stole the horses the day before a big event. It hurt more than one person but several who could not perform. It could also have been to steal several as a cover up so fingers would not point back at her, but why take them to Oklahoma?  Then getting others involve, text messages, etc. knowing the world will hold not your secrets. Sooner or later, people will talk.  If she is that cruel and can hold that much hate, she could have done much worst. Although her act, is a far cry from innocent.  


I suppose Jaci Jackson will be made out to be a legend either way, good or bad. Even if she is innocent, we will see her as a horse thief. Someone will likely write a song about her. Another will do a book and surely the world will watch it as a movie perhaps on the Lifetime Movie Network.  However, some horse thieves have been remember as heroic cowboys who tamed the Wild West rather than actions of their past.

Wyatt Earp is one of those who was accused of horse theft, April of 1871, in Arkansas Indian Territory covered under federal law. "April 1, 1871, Bill Of Information. U. S. vs Wyatt S. Earp, Ed Kennedy, John Shown, white men and not Indians or members of any tribe of Indians by birth or marriage or adoption on the 28th day of March A. D. 1871 in the Indian Country in said District did feloniously willfully steal, take away, carry away two horses each of the value of one hundred dollars, the property goods and chattels of one William Keys and prey a writ [signed] J. G. Owens."  Wyatt Earp was arrest on April 6, 1871, when United States Deputy Marshal J. G. Owens took him into custody charging him with stealing horses. Commissioner James Churchill arraigned his bond on April 14, 1871, and set at $500.  Although, Wyatt escape, on May 15th, 1871 and was indicted on the charge of stealing horses. Another warrant for his arrest was again issued - but was never served.

On Jaci's birthday, she received many birthday wishes. Many trying to send a positive message to hold your head high. Some were hate messages while others seem to question if this could all be true.  Guilty or not, regardless of the out come, many equestrians, will remember her as a cheap horse thief killer.  Others may stand by her side, while others simply forgive and forget. Regardless, her family will also endure the worlds pain along with one horse that paid an unnecessary sacrifices. No hate can ever justify such cruelty placed upon an innocent animal.  Credit Card, was just that!  Innocent.   This pain will also ride upon Shaun and the rest of the Smith family, along with the members of the SAU Rodeo Team.

Photo by Laura Delaughter  for  Justice for Credit Card

 CREDIT CARD by Kristi Skimehorn
They call me “Credit Card” that is my name
I was raised to rodeo that was my fame
Chasing some cows that run all around
  As my owner ropes them and ties them down

I spent days and nights on the rodeo road
With one thing in mind and that was winning mode
My owner in college rodeo such a dream come true
Climbing the academic ladder things to pursue

Then sadly one day all things would change
Someone would steal me and leave my remains
Their heart was so cold with one thing in mind
All because they seemed second in line

They took away a life that was loved so much
Took me from rodeo and family and such
The things that they did I can not explain
The brutal emotions and all of the pain

But to all of my buddies and my master too
I hurt no more and my rodeo days aren’t through
I’m up here in Heaven doing what I do
With another young rider making dreams come true


  1. RIP Credit Card...sadly missed by owner

  2. Two Words - Great Job ! Thank-You!

  3. That was so moving I love your words of wisdom,but as finish taking care of my own horses my heartbreaks for a horse a never knew. I pray every night for justice for Credit Card!!I have own horses for over 40 years and travel many miles with them to think someone would do this is very very sick. We need to know WHY..

  4. I too so agree to know why anyone would be so cruel to an animal that did no harm. That understanding can only be understood when those directly involved come forward to tell the truth without giving excuses. The drama each day unfolds with additional news. It sincerely is sad that this tragic event could not have been completely avoided. The story is not to express a guilt nor innocence of anyone, nor to create a hate message. However, it is to point out emotions that equestrians world wide are asking. WHY....Our prayers are deeply extended to the Smith Family and those students of the SAU. It is not for us to condemn nor forgive those who perform the acts of cruelty, as that is for the higher authorities, Court of Justice, Jury and in the end, God.