Jackson indicted on murder

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 27, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – A Concordia Parish grand jury took eight hours to indict Stephen Alfred Jackson on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated arson in connection with the May 28 death of Linda Merritt McClanahan.

&uot;All I can say is that I’m glad he has been indicted,&uot; said Betty Holyfield of Brandon, one of McClanahan’s two sisters and the only one of her relatives who could be reached for comment late Thursday afternoon.

&uot;I hope justice will be served – and if it is, he (Jackson) will be convicted,&uot; she said. &uot;It was a horrible crime, and we (sisters) were really close.&uot;

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Jackson is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 15. &uot;At that time, he’ll have the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty,&uot;&160;said Seventh Judicial District Attorney John Johnson.

On that date, schedules will also be set for the prosecution and defense to present motions to the court.

Jackson, 34, of 133 Donald Drive near Vidalia, was not arraigned on a charge of armed robbery in connection with the alleged crime. But Johnson would not comment further on the grand jury’s findings.

The body of McClanahan, 54, of 127 Donald Drive, was found in her burning trailer on the morning of May 28.

An autopsy showed she was beaten with a blunt instrument and stabbed several times before the trailer was set on fire, apparently to cover up the crime. The apparent motive was robbery, Sheriff Randy Maxwell has said.

Jackson is being held at the Concordia Parish Correctional Facility extension on $1,202,500 bond.

Jackson’s girlfriend, 18-year-old Elizabeth A. Mohon, also of 133 Donald Drive, was charged with accessory after the fact to first-degree murder, aggravated arson and armed robbery.

Bond was set at $50,000 for Mohon, who was released June 1 by Judge Leo Boothe on a personal surety bond.