El Centro councilman Jason Jackson to serve 10 days in jail



El Centro Councilman and former Mayor Jason Jackson. File photo.

UPDATE: Current El Centro Mayor Alex Cardenas gave a statement on the city’s position on Jason Jackson’s case. “Regarding Council member Jason Jackson’s situation, the City has no comment at this time as it is a personal matter.”

EL CENTRO — Jason Jackson, El Centro councilman and former mayor, was sentenced by presiding Judge William D. Lehman during the sentencing phase of his trial to ten days in jail Thursday, August 17, at the Imperial County Superior Court in El Centro. Jackson pled guilty July 13 to the felony charge of cruelty to an animal. Today, Judge Lehman reduced the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor.

As part of Jackson’s three-year formal probation, some of the provisions include not owning an animal, summiting to searches at anytime, counseling for the act of animal cruelty, surrendering the abused horse, not leaving the state of California, fines and court costs to be $1,000 maximum, and serving 10 days in the county jail.

When Jackson was asked if he accepted these terms, he said he did not.

Judge Lehman said if Jackson did not accept the terms, he could possibly face longer jail time. Jackson’s defense attorney, Tom Storey, then asked if he could confer with Jackson and Judge Lehman called a short recess.

When the court reconvened, Judge Lehman once again asked Jackson if he accepted the terms of the probation.

Jackson spoke on own his behalf.

“I thought that when I pled guilty to the felony, I agreed only if it was reduced to a misdemeanor and I would get no jail time,” said Jackson. “Jail time will hurt my business.”

Judge Lehman then stated that he would not retry the case and once again asked Jackson if he was going to accept the probation terms set forth, or receive 90 days in jail.

Jackson then commented that he believed he had no choice, to which the judge replied that Jackson did have a choice, 10 days in jail or 90 days in jail.

Jackson ultimately accepted the terms and will surrender himself to the Imperial County Jail August 31.

Judge Lehman commented that it was a serious case and that inconsistencies in Jackson’s testimonies had led him to the sentencing. Lehman stated the horse was clearly not being fed or watered for a long period of time, because it was eating a palm tree, the fence, and its own feces and the water was very low with mud and algae in it.

Jackson had claimed he sold the horse. However, Senior Deputy District Attorney Heather Trapnell told the court the horse was apparently still in the same location. The judge said the probation officer will look into the status of the horse.

Trapnell commented on the sentencing, “We asked for the felony conviction, but I understand why the judge went forward with the misdemeanor.”

“I think the judge saw the seriousness of the crime and that is why he imposed the sentence that he did, including the formal probation,” Trapnell said. “The judge imposing the 10-day jail time should make an impression on Mr. Jackson that this conduct is unacceptable. In our country, nobody is above the law.”







  1. I was thinking why he got jail time but Carly did not. or am I mistaken. She should have also. just seems odd if one did and one did not.

    • So, his employees should suffer for his actions? Yeah, let’s add to the unemployment rate in the Valley…

  2. He should resign from the El Centro Council. What a terrible representative for the City of El Centro.

  3. I now feel more hopeful that those individuals who commit these types of barbaric acts upon defenseless animals will be aggressively and consistently prosecuted. I commend the District Attorneys Office for their dilligence in promoting justice for all!

  4. How about the innocent victims of abortion being committed by Planned parenthood on 4th Street.
    Is the value of a horse more than that of innocent defenseless human being.
    Where is the out cry for such crime.

    • Come on Barros, get off your High Horse. Individuals decide if they will have a abortion, not PP. they are just there to make sure it is performed safely for the mother.

    • We are talking about horses because the article is talking about their rights, nobody is talking about abortion…When an article about your topic appears, talk about it 🙂

  5. My suggestion, of course, is to let the punishment fit the crime. Leave the guy tied up in a corral with little food and water for days at a time. After the first three weeks, ask him if he will accept punishment in jail Bet you he will. All this “restorative justice” nonsense is just that. Reward bad behavior with kindness & light punishment and you get more bad behavior. Animal cruelty is like child abuse, only the animal can’t be heard crying. The man should be (pardon the pun) horse-whipped.

  6. No one is exempt from the law? How about Carli Bogue? She just got a slap on the wrist, Carli KILLED three horses an left another almost dead. I’d say justice in the Imperial Valley has a very unbalanced scale.

    • I was wondering the same thing, I didnt think Carly got any jail time and there were 3 horses not one and he got 10 days in jail. seems something is off kilter.

  7. Know one is exempt from the law? How about Carli Bogue? She just got a slap on the wrist, Carli KILLED three horses an left another almost dead. I’d say justice in the Imperial Valley has a very unbalanced scale.

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