Trial ahead for alleged York-area would-be cop killer
- A district judge determined enough evidence exists for Trev Bowies Jackson II to stand trial.
- He is accused of trying to kill a police officer by shooting at the officer's face from 2 feet away.
- Jackson was on the run for more than five months before being captured in Philadelphia.
Trev Bowies Jackson II, the man police say fired several bullets at the head of a Northern Regional police officer in November, is now facing trial after his charges were forwarded to county court at his two preliminary hearings Thursday morning.
"He's looking at, potentially, a very lengthy prison sentence, should he be convicted on all counts," said chief deputy prosecutor David Sunday, who is prosecuting Jackson on both his York County criminal cases.
"I think situations like this really shine a light on the dangers that face police officers on a daily basis, even for routine things like traffic stops," Sunday said. "Obviously, everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but ... I'm looking forward to bringing this case to trial so the commonwealth can see what occurred here."
Jackson, 25, formerly of East College Avenue in York City, remains in York County Prison without bail, charged with attempted homicide, assault on a law-enforcement officer with a firearm, and reckless endangerment.
A conviction on the assault-on-law-enforcement charge carries a mandatory sentence of 20 to 40 years in prison, Sunday said, and the attempted homicide charge has a maximum sentence of 20 to 40 years in prison.
Dove to safety: Officer Lynn Anderson of Northern York County Regional Police escaped serious injury by diving out of the way as Jackson fired three shots from a .380-caliber handgun at him in the parking lot of the Manchester Crossroads Shopping Center along Route 30 in Manchester Township about 10 p.m. Nov. 22, police allege. The officer was 29 at the time.
"(Anderson) testified that he had burn marks on his face (from gunpowder) because the gun was so close," Sunday said. "It actually physically burned his face. Thanks to his training, his quick action allowed him to ... get out of harm's way."
Jackson's Harrisburg-based defense attorney, Davis Younts, said it's early in the defense process and much work needs to be done, including the defense's own investigation and awaiting the release of remaining discovery material from the prosecution.
Fair trial: "My focus right now, as you can imagine, is to ensure he's going to receive a fair trial," Younts said. "Obviously the video (of the incident) is out there."
That means Younts must determine how to best make sure Jackson receives an impartial jury panel and a fair trial, he said.
He confirmed that he must consider asking for an out-of-county jury or that the trial be moved out of York County.
"In a case like this, it has to be something we take into serious consideration," Younts said.
In addition to the attempted homicide case, Jackson also is charged with burglary, theft and related offenses for allegedly stealing a bicycle from a woman's shed while hiding from police.
The background: Anderson pulled over Jackson for swerving in and out of his lane of travel on Route 30, then smelled marijuana coming from the car, charging documents state.
Anderson ordered Jackson — a felon on parole — out of the car and was reaching for the man's arm to handcuff him when Jackson turned and fired from about 2 feet away, Northern Regional Police Chief Mark Bentzel has said. Anderson was unhurt, except for the powder burns on his face from the muzzle flash, the chief said.
As Jackson fired, Anderson dove out of the way and returned fire, squeezing off seven rounds, Bentzel said at the time. Four of those bullets struck Jackson's car, police said.
Jackson was shot in the left hand when Anderson returned fire, according to police. His vehicle was found abandoned the next morning with blood in it.
Police have said Jackson made his way to York City after stealing a bicycle from a shed in Manchester Township. Officers found a boot print and a pool of blood in the Zoard Avenue shed, as if Jackson had been hiding there, police have said.
'Dangerous man': Police filed charges against Jackson the next day. A few weeks later, Bentzel released a 42-second dash-cam video from Anderson's cruiser showing the encounter. That's because Jackson was still at large.
"I want the public to know and understand that this is a dangerous man," the chief said at the time. "He tried to kill our police officer."
The fugitive remained on the run from police for more than five months until he was captured without incident by U.S. marshals and local police on North Stanley Street in Philadelphia, police have said.
Officials used billboards offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
Jackson's former girlfriend and two other women are accused of helping Jackson evade capture. They remain charged with hindering the apprehension of a suspect and related offense.
Anderson was placed on administrative leave after the shooting but returned to work within a couple of weeks, police said.
His first day back at work, Anderson was out on patrol, pulling over vehicles, according to his chief.
"That says a lot about Lynn Anderson," Bentzel has said.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.