Update: District Attorney Stacey Jackson remembered for bringing credibility back to Chattahoochee DA’s Office (2024)

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) Chattahoochee Circuit District Attorney Stacey Jackson was remembered Sunday as homegrown lawyer who brought credibility back to the office in its darkest days.

Jackson, who turned 50 on April 20, died Sunday at his Harris County home after a lengthy illness. Jackson had been on medical leave since November.

Jackson’s death was announced by the DA’s office.

Acting District Attorney Don Kelly said, “The entire District Attorney’s Office family mourns Stacey’s passing. He was a tremendous leader who guided rebuilding our office after a difficult time. He will be greatly missed by everyone. Please keep the Jackson family in your thoughts and prayers. Please respect their privacy at this time.”

Jackson started his legal career as a prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office after graduating from the Dayton University Law School. He spent 15 years as one of the most effective criminal defense attorneys before going back to the prosecutor’s side in April 2021.

Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Jackson to be the DA of the six-county West Georgia circuit in the wake of the criminal conviction of former District Attorney Mark Jones. Jones was convicted of public corruption in November 2020, less than a year after he took office.

Jackson became the DA two years ago.

“Stacey was a real breath of fresh air, whether it was his readiness for trial as a great criminal defense lawyer or his rebuilding of our DA’s office after the damage following the 2020 election,” said Superior Court Judge Gil McBride

Jackson was courtroom savvy and earned a reputation as the go-to attorney on high-profile criminal cases.

“He was always ready for trial or whatever might happen in the courtroom,” McBride said. “I never saw him surprised or the least bit unprepared. He set a high standard. He also had an even temper. I’ve known Stacey since he graduated from law school, when he was clerking for Judge Doug Pullen. I have only seen Stacey angry once—at a significant ethical lapse of another lawyer.”

Jackson’s death was greeted with sadness from the top offices in Atlanta.

Kemp and his wife, Marty, sent their condolences.

“His leadership greatly impacted the residents of the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit,” Kemp said in a statement. “And he will be remembered for his strength and guidance when it was needed most. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

Criminal defense attorney William Kendrick was a colleague, friend and adversary of Jackson’s for the last two decades. He used an exercise analogy to describe Jackson.

“You have a camaraderie with the people you see in the trenches,” Kendrick said. “We know the guys who are in the gym every morning. He was that guy. And I am telling you not everybody works that way.”

Kendrick picked up a lot of the high-profile cases when Jackson became DA. He saw the stability Jackson brought back to the DA’s office.

“Every piece is a cog in the machine,” Kendrick said. “You need good DAs and you need good defense attorneys. Now, he had a big personality. But whether he was prosecuting or defending, he went the distance.”

Jackson did his undergraduate work at Albany State University. He was also an active member of his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, the Lambda Iota chapter that operates in the Chattahoochee Valley.

Columbus Realtor Travis Chambers was a fraternity brother and friend of Jackson’s for more than three decsades.

“It feels like a part of me has been taken away,” Chambers said. “It is such an empty feeling.”

The two talked regularly, ate family meals together and shared a love and bond. The last few months as Jackson’s undisclosed illness took it toll, Chambers said it has been hard to watch.

“To see somebody who was so strong with an unbelievable drive, to see him over the last few months, it has been difficult to watch,” Chambers said.

Work ethic is what made Jackson so good as a prosecutor, Chambers said.

“He would work at 2, 3, 3:30 in the morning — that was nothing for him,” Chambers said. “His work ethic was unquestioned. He strived for greatness and wanted to win. But he did the work that was needed to be great and win.”

Columbus City Manager Isaiah Hugley was also one of Jackson’s fraternity brothers.

“ProsecutorsknewwhenDefenseLawyerStaceyJacksonwalked into the room, you better have your act together,” Hugley said. “Andthen Stacey became the top prosecutor as District Attorney. As the top lawyer/DA, he becameaDefenseLawyer’s‘worst nightmare.'”

In my mind,StaceyJacksonearned the reputation as “YourWorstNightmare” in the courtroom whether on the defense side or prosecutor side of the room.”

One of the things Jackson did when he was appointed DA was stabilize an office that lost most of its experienced prosecutors.

“We were having serious challenges hiring lawyers and moving major cases in the DA’s office.All of that changed when the Governor appointed Stacey Jackson,” Hugley said. “Local lawyers and lawyers across the state wanted to work for Stacey Jackson.”

Attorney General Chris Carr knew Jackson well.

“We’re incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of District Attorney Stacey Jackson,” Carr said in a statement. “Stacey cared deeply for the Columbus community and all those he served so well. As District Attorney, he led with honesty and integrity, and we’re proud to have worked alongside him to protect our fellow Georgians. We continue to pray for his family and the entire District Attorney’s Office during this difficult time.”

Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson said the community is mourning Jackson’s passing.

“Stacey was one of the most talented trial lawyers our community has seen,” Henderson said. “He was doing an outstanding job in the DA’s office.His passing is a tremendous loss for his family, his friends, and the entire community.”

Jackson was a native of Harris County and a graduate of Harris County High School. His knowledge of the community was evident in his many roles in the local legal community.

“This is a major loss for Columbus, Harris County and the circuit,” McBride said. “We are in Stacey’s debt for rebuilding the DA’s office and restoring public confidence in its operations.

Jackson is survived by his parents Laura and Arnold Jackson, and two sons.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WRBL.

Update: District Attorney Stacey Jackson remembered for bringing credibility back to Chattahoochee DA’s Office (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 5457

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (76 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Birthday: 1995-01-14

Address: 55021 Usha Garden, North Larisa, DE 19209

Phone: +6812240846623

Job: Corporate Healthcare Strategist

Hobby: Singing, Listening to music, Rafting, LARPing, Gardening, Quilting, Rappelling

Introduction: My name is Foster Heidenreich CPA, I am a delightful, quaint, glorious, quaint, faithful, enchanting, fine person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.