What an Oceano man is calling a simple mistake — forgetting to deal with a gun he wasn’t supposed to possess — could keep him in prison for the rest of his life.
David Jonathan Jackson, 31, a felon with a record of robbery and dissuading a witness nearly 12 years ago, said he found a gun in a car he was borrowing from his mother, according to a Pismo Beach Police Department report.
Jackson is accused of having a cut-off Ruger rifle at a Motel 6 in Pismo Beach in November 2010.
Jackson was in the process of moving and brought the gun into the motel to get it away from a child, he told police, but accidentally left it there when he checked out.
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Now he’s facing a possible third strike on his record, which carries a 25 years to life sentence.
Jackson returned to the motel with his girlfriend for the firearm, but by then motel staff had turned it over to police, according to the report.
One jury already heard his case in July and issued a not guilty verdict on the charge of willful and unlawful possession of a deadly weapon but deadlocked on the allegations of possession of a weapon by a felon, which is scheduled to be retried.
Jackson has a prior record that includes a Dec. 20, 1999, conviction in Tulare County of robbery, attempted robbery and dissuading a witness from testifying.
Jackson’s attorney, Trace Milan, has argued in court documents that his client’s possession is legally allowable because it was temporary and transitory in nature.
Milan said Thursday he doesn’t want to get into the specifics of the evidence but hopes the case will be dropped.
“I don’t think it’s an efficient use of county resources to retry this case,” Milan told The Tribune on Thursday.
Prosecutor Matt Kerrigan couldn’t be reached for comment. But a police report appears to call into question some of Jackson’s accounting for the gun.
Jackson’s mother, Doris Silva, initially told police the gun was her weapon, but then backtracked when told she could be held criminally responsible.
“Silva stated she had lied for Jackson because she did not want him to get into trouble,” according to the report. “Silva stated she came up with the story, and that she advised Jackson to tell (police) the false statement regarding Silva owning the rifle. Silva was extremely apologetic.”
The report doesn’t say specifically that the gun was owned by Jackson, however.
The retrial against Jackson is scheduled for Sept. 19 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court with Judge Jacquelyn Duffy presiding.