UPDATE: 2012 unsolved murder case sent to superior court

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Hester Jackson (WRDW-TV)
Hester Jackson (WRDW-TV)

HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WRDW) -- The suspect involved in the murder of a man in 2012 steps in front of a judge for the first time today. The judge says Damarkeo Lockhart's case will now be sent to superior court.

Deputies say Lockhart was arrested May 14. In Dec. 2012, investigators say the murder appeared to occur when the victim, Hester Jackson, walked in on the burglary of his own home.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WRDW) -- A man connected to a murder of another man during a burglary nearly 3 years ago has been arrested.

Damarkeo Lockhart was arrested May 14 for driving on a suspending license. He was later connected to the death of Hester Jackson in Dec. 2013.

According to the report by the clerk of courts, Lockhart gave a false statement when he told investigators that his friends "Jay" and "Zay" admitted to him that they were the ones who shot and killed Jackson.

Both were later identified and investigation showed that both of those people were in custody at the time of the murder.

In 2012, deputies say Hester walked in on his home being burglarized when he was killed.

Lockhart is charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license, giving a false statement, first degree burglar, and murder.

Lockhart will be in court for his first appearance tomorrow at 11 a.m.

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012

HEPHZIBAH, Ga. -- After a couple weeks without any answers in the murder of a Hephzibah man, the family and the Richmond County Sheriff's Office are turning to the community for help.

Earlier this month, 56-year-old Hester Jackson was killed after he walked in on his house being burglarized.

"I just hope they be able to catch them because I don't want to live in fear all of my life," said scared and grieving widow Brenda Jackson. "My husband was brutally murdered on Dec. 8, 2012, and we're here to try to find who those killers are and bring them to justice."

Family, friends and deputies decided to walk around the neighborhood and ask the community for help.

They have walked street after street, house after house, praying that somebody knows something.

"Being angry is not going to solve anything," explained sister-in-law Gail Jackson.

So, instead of being angry, they're determined to be proactive.

"Going out and knocking on doors, talking to neighbors and hope that someone may have heard something, seen something or know something," Jackson said.

Deputies even scattered throughout the neighborhood to pass out fliers to incoming cars.

"We've been successful in doing so in the past, and we're hoping that's going to be the case today," said Lt. Calvin Chew.

They say it's already paying off. About an hour into their efforts, the phones started ringing.

Now the family hopes one of those phone calls might hold an answer.

"I wish I knew who it was so I could report them, so they could go to jail. That would be the best Christmas present that I could ask for," Jackson said.

"If it's my family this time, it could be yours the next time. So please, please, if you know something, come forth," Jackson pleaded.

After reaching out to nearly 600 homes along Willis Foreman Road, now all they can do is wait.

In this case, there's even a reward -- up to $10,000 for any information that could lead to an arrest.

If you know anything, call deputies at (706) 821-1020.

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