Soldier's Mental State Barracks Killing Issue


Defense attorneys don't argue that Sgt. Vincinte Jackson killed a fellow Fort Carson soldier in January.

Jackson confessed to waking Spc. Brandy Fonteneaux in her room in a barracks, putting his arm over her mouth and slashing her throat, his close friend said. A pathologist later counted 74 stab wounds.

Whether Jackson knew what he was doing remains up for debate.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys debated Jackson's mental state during the alleged killing at an evidence hearing Friday for the Fort Carson sergeant, who was charged with murder on Jan. 24 in connection with Fonteneaux's death.

"His memory is clear," said Capt. Rick Mathew, an Army prosecutor, during closing arguments. "He remembers the knife going into her spine. He remembers the blood spurting..."

"You have zero evidence of premeditation," countered Capt. Jeremy Horn, a defense attorney. "Sgt. Jackson had a knife with him and he snapped."

A soldier found Fonteneaux's body lying in a pool of blood in her room on Jan. 8, said Serrana Matthews, a Fort Carson special agent. The victim's shirt and bra were pushed up to her neck.

Blood found on Jackson's car in the nearby parking lot led investigators to his room on the barrack's first floor, said Eric Wright, also a special agent. They found blood in Jackson's room from when he tried to commit suicide after the slaying, Wright said.

Investigators said they found Jackson's DNA on several things inside Fonteneaux's room, including a light switch and the wall.

Three days later, Jackson allegedly confessed to the killing while meeting with his close friend in a Colorado Springs mental health clinic.

Stuttering and shaking, Jackson recalled checking the doorknobs of other rooms after drinking whiskey and beer -- eventually going inside Fonteneaux's room, Christopher Colston, a former Fort Carson soldier in Jackson's unit, testified.

Jackson and Fonteneaux were passing acquaintances, Colston said.

When she awoke, Jackson said he put his hand over her mouth, placed her in a choke hold from behind and slit her throat, Colston said. After repeatedly stabbing her, Jackson flipped Fonteneaux over and continued stabbing, Colston said.

But defense attorneys hounded Colston when his testimony began to veer from sworn statements he made to investigators less than an hour after hearing the confession.

Colston testified Friday that Jackson told him he realized what he was doing when Fonteneaux fell to the floor after being stabbed.

Jackson said then he choked Fonteneaux "to put her out of her pain and her suffering," Colston said.

Immediately after hearing the confession, Colston told investigators that Jackson recalled not being unable to control his body after choking Fonteneaux.

Colston testified that Jackson remembered hearing voices -- a by-product of being under increasing stress.

"So it is your belief that something went wrong in his brain?" asked Capt. Melissa Dasgupta Smith, a defense attorney.

"Yes," Colston replied.

But prosecutors said Jackson acted deliberately the entire night. When Jackson returned to his room after the alleged slaying, he took several showers.

"It's not a snap judgement," Horn said. "That's not what happened in this case."

Maj. Robert Dospoy heard the evidence and will issue a recommendation to Maj. Gen. Joseph Anderson, the post's commander, on whether Jackson's case will be sent to a court-martial.

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