Jaci Rae Jackson pleaded guilty today before Circuit Judge Larry Chandler in Columbia County Circuit Court to six counts conspiracy to commit theft of property for her role in the November 2011 theft of five horses and a trailer from the Southern Arkansas University rodeo team stables.

Jackson was originally charged with four counts theft of property over $5,000 and two counts theft of property over $25,000. Deputy Prosecutor David Butler amended the charges to six counts conspiracy to commit theft of property, and asked the court to delay sentencing “to let the matters in other states run their course.”

Jackson was accompanied by her attorney, Michael Lusk of Texarkana.

Butler stated that Jackson had testified in the theft trial of her mother, Wendi Cox, this past week in El Dorado.

“It is anticipated Ms. Jackson may be testifying in other states,” he added.

Her next court date will be July 18.

Butler spoke briefly with the media following Jackson’s plea, and stated that sentencing will be delayed until she testifies in pending Oklahoma cases. He said for the six counts of conspiracy to commit theft, she could get a possible sentence of 40 years if all counts ran consecutively.

Butler said he expects to find out today if Cox will waive extradition back to Oklahoma.

William Webster “Billy” Hamilton pleaded guilty to four counts theft of property over $5,000 and two counts theft of property over $25,000. Butler amended the charges to include being a habitual offender. 

Hamilton received 30 years total in the Arkansas Department of Corrections. Judge Chandler sentenced him to 20 years on the first four counts, to run concurrently, and five years on the second two counts, to run consecutively.

Butler stated that Hamilton faces charges in Oklahoma, and he will be required to testify truthfully in those cases. 

Hamilton signed a waiver of extradition.

George Berrish III was charged with four counts theft of property over $5,000 and two counts theft of property over $25,000. Butler said the state would not prosecute the first five counts, and Berrish pleaded guilty to one count theft of property over $25,000.

He was sentenced to 10 years in the ADC with 10 years suspended imposition of sentencing. Judge Chandler ruled this case would run concurrently with a sentence Berrish is currently serving in the ADC on cattle theft from Little River County.

Butler stated that Berrish was given immunity from prosecution in Oklahoma, and no charges have been filed there. He will be required to testify truthfully in any case.

Published: 04/04/2013