Dustin H. Jackson
The final sentencing in the Wells County slaying which involved four Decatur-area residents has been handed down.
The last of those sentenced in Wells Circuit Court at Bluffton was Dustin H. Jackson, 23, who got a 25-year prison term for pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery resulting in serious injury. Judge David Hanselman gave Jackson 35 years, but suspended 10 years, and ordered him to spend five years on probation after being released from custody.
Jackson was among the four involved in a robbery attempt that took the life of a 19-year-old Uniondale man, Justin Sprow, one year ago, on October 28. on a Wells County road.
Jackson also must pay $164 in court costs and will owe probation fees. While in prison, he will work to get his general educational development certificate, his lawyer, John Bohdan, told the court.
Although Jackson was not the shooter, Wells County Prosecutor Mike Lautzenheiser said in court, "Just being around people with guns and drugs can get you in trouble."
The robbery attempt was allegedly the result of a drug deal that went bad. Lautzenheiser added that Jackson and another of the quartet, Cody Mendez, had lesser involvement in this case than did the other two defendants.
Jackson told the court and members of Sprow's family, "I am very sorry for what happened and I wish I could take it back."
Judge Hanselman said, "I don't think anyone set out to have anyone killed. There were a lot of bad judgments involved and when that happens, the end result can be very tragic.
"A young man lost his life. His family has to live with that.
"Four young men will spend time in prison when they could have been productive in society. Their families also have to live with those consequences."
The other three Decatur men sentenced in this case were Jonathan Thatcher, 19, who got 48 years for pleading guilty to murder; Cody Barkley, 19, who received 30 years for conspiracy to commit robbery resulting in serious injury; and Mendez, 17, who was given 20 years for conspiracy to commit robbery resulting in serious injury.