Jaci Rae Jackson conducted a careful - if not very discreet -- reconnaissance of Mulerider Stables before having her mother's boyfriend steal five horses from there on Nov. 3. She later watched as one of the horses, Shaun Smith's Credit Card, was shot and killed.
Those details were made public today in an affidavit supports an arrest warrant for Jackson and others that was announced Monday by Southern Arkansas University officials.
CLICK HERE for a video of a news conference on Monday in which Jackson's arrest was discussed by Southern Arkansas University officials.
Jackson, with residences in Broken Bow, Oklahoma and Buckner, is spending her 19th birthday today in the Columbia County Justice and Detention Facility awaiting her first court appearance on Wednesday. She is charged in Arkansas with three counts of theft of property over $25,000, and three counts of theft of property between $5,000 and $25,000 - the amounts representing the values of the five horses and a horse trailer. She is also being held on McCurtain County, Oklahoma warrants for bringing stolen property into the state, concealing stolen property, and cruelty to animals.
The affidavit, written by SAU Police Department Sgt. Investigator Donald Wray, said that witnesses saw a white male in a hoodie-style sweatshirt backing a dark-colored truck to the trailer on the night of Nov. 3. Jackson and her mother's boyfriend, William "Billy" Hamilton, were both known to drive such trucks.
Wray wrote that Jackson had two fellow rodeo students, Luke Ware and Angel Squyers, show her around the stables. Ware told Wray that Jackson took notes regarding the locations of the stalls of where the stolen horses were taken, as well as writing a physical description of the horses. She also counted stalls in the area where the stolen horses were housed.
"Luke Ware also made statements to investigators that Jaci Rae Jackson told him that she knew people who had stolen horses in the past. Angel Squyres told investigators that Jaci Rae Jackson had asked her about the ownership of the horses inside the Mulerider Stables. Squyres states that the horses Jaci Rae Jackson asked about were those taken.
"It was also discovered during the investigation that Jaci Rae Jackson had some form of romantic problems with at least one of the owners of the stolen horses. Jaci Rae Jackson had also told Luke Ware prior to the thefts that some of the owners of the stolen horses ‘had made her mad.'"
The affidavit said that a confidential informant came forward to the McCurtain County, Oklahoma, Sheriff's Office on Nov. 7. Jackson contacted the informant on Nov. 5 and asked for help to move the horses.
"The informant told investigators that Jaci Rae Jackson told them that ‘Billy screwed it up.' At the time of the phone call, Jaci Rae Jackson told the informant that the horses were in McCurtain County but needed to be moved to another area in the county. While meeting with the informant, investigators were able to determine that the informant furnished relevant details about Jaci Rae Jackson and the alleged theft that satisfied the investigators in showing that the informant was reliable.
"The informant had also recorded another phone conversation that they had with Jaci Rae Jackson. During this recorded conversation, Jackson shared details with the informant regarding the disposal of one of the stolen horses known as Credit Card. She stated to the informant that she wanted the horse killed and that she watched as Credit Card was shot in the head and had its throat slit by William ‘Billy' Hamilton."
Hamilton and an identified juvenile cut up the horse for disposal, the affidavit said.
The stolen horse trailer was observed by law enforcement at the home of Jackson's mother, Wendi Cox. It was later recovered on property owned by Jackson's relatives. The horses were located on property adjacent to the residence of Cox. Four of the horses were tied to trees in poor condition, and Credit Card's mutilated remains were also found.
"After checking Jaci Rae Jackson's phone records, Facebook profile as well as talking to witnesses and friends of Jaci Rae Jackson, it was discovered that Jaci Rae Jackson is an associate of William ‘Billy' Hamilton and the identified juveniles. William ‘Billy' Hamilton is the current boyfriend of Jaci Rae Jackson's mother, Wendi Cox," the affidavit said.
Jackson is a freshman at Southern Arkansas University and a member of the Rodeo Club. She was picked up during a traffic stop on U.S. 82 about 1 p.m. Monday by Arkansas State Police Trooper Seth Pinner.
Eric Plummer, SAU police chief, told a press conference on Monday that more arrests are expected. "Other suspects known to be involved in this case will be brought to justice," Plummer said. He urged anyone who may still have information about the case to contact law enforcement.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Butler said at the press conference that Jackson would have her first court appearance on Tuesday, but that appearance has since been moved to Wednesday at the Justice and Detention Facility. After Jackson's first court appearance, Butler will file charges and Jackson will be formally arraigned on December 15.
Butler is also considering a criminal mischief charge against Jackson. He is investigating whether such a charge is appropriate concerning the death of a horse.