An Army Major and his wife who have been indicted on 17 counts of various child endangerment and assault charges are now being investigated in the 2008 death of one of their foster children as a possible homicide.
According to nj.com, Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Jampol announced at a pretrial hearing Tuesday in Newark the grand jury investigation of John E. Jackson, and that the government could bring a new indictment if enough evidence is found for a charge of homicide.
The age of the child was not disclosed by prosecutors, the report said. The information came out in court when the defense for Jackson and his wife, Carolyn, requested no mention of the boy’s death be used at the trial, scheduled to begin in September. According to the report, while Judge Katharine Hayden sided with the defense, prosecutors charged that the Jacksons “contributed” to the foster child’s death and marks a pattern of abuse that ranged from 2005 to 2010.
The Jacksons, of Mount Holly but stationed at Picatinny Arsenal in Rockaway since 2005, were indicted in 2013 when investigators said they abused their adopted children – who came through foster care – to the point of fracturing bones, withheld water from them and force-fed them hot sauce, red pepper flakes and raw onion.
In addition, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said the Jackson’s biological children were told to prevent the adopted children from sneaking drinks of water from the toilet or sink. Fishman also charged that the parents did not allow the children to receive medical attention.
How the foster child died in 2008 was not disclosed.
Each parent faces up to 10 years in prison on each of the 17 counts and a maximum of $250,000 fine for each count.