The Journal Gazette
Friday, July 30, 2021 6:18 pm

85-year term ordered in Fort Wayne hotel slaying

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

Thomas Jackson's actions caught on video at the Rodeway Inn angered Allen Superior Judge Fran Gull.

"She falls. You do nothing. She's bleeding out. You do nothing," Gull said Friday, just before she sentenced Jackson, 40, to 85 years, the maximum sentence allowed for one count of murder with a gun enhancement.

Gull said she'd seen a lot in her nearly 30 years on the bench, but the video outside the hotel room Angel May Carter, 19, and Jackson shared and where he shot her about 4 a.m. Aug. 9 showed total disregard for his victim.

"Your absolutely callous indifference to this young woman is astounding," Gull told Jackson as he sat in her courtroom, dressed in orange-and-white prison stripes.

His attorney, Robert Gevers, asked the judge for 55 years with an additional 10 years for the gun enhancement, a request she declined in light of Jackson's extensive criminal history in Mississippi, Illinois and Indiana.

Angel May Carter wanted to change him, her older sister, Ann Wicker, said.

The young woman "full of laughter, and full of love, thought she could be a better person" if she could help Jackson overcome some unnamed obstacles in his life and give up alcohol, Wicker said.

The strain got to be too much for her and she was trying to break up with him.

"She tells you she's done," Wicker said, "and then you do what you did to her. I wake up every morning and message her. I wake up every morning and call her. I come up here (to Fort Wayne) and I realize she's gone."

Carter's mother, Dawn Hipshire, shook with sobs when she spoke before Gull, clutching photos of her daughter.

“We pray every day: Where's the justice for Angel? Where's the justice for her family?" Hipshire said.

Her daughter dreamed of a country wedding, a dream cut short "because that monster took her life."

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