Pair sentenced in Nashville officer shooting

Published 3:34 pm Friday, December 3, 2010

A Mississippi prison escapee and his cousin were sentenced to 45 and 31 years respectively for their roles in the shooting of a Nashville police officer as they fled toward Kentucky.

Cortney Logan of Louisville, Ky., was accused of helping Joseph Jackson Jr. escape from the Delta Correctional Facility in Greenwood, Miss., in June 2009 while Jackson was at a doctor’s appointment outside of the facility.

At sentencing on Wednesday in Davidson County, Jackson apologized for shooting Officer Mark Chesnut.

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“I just wanna say I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” he told the court. “God says everything happens for a reason, so I just gotta put it in his hands.”

Chesnut submitted a written victim impact statement that was not read aloud in court. The officer sustained life-altering injuries. A police spokesman said Wednesday that Chesnut has applied for an injured on duty pension which should be approved Feb. 15. He is using accrued vacation time until then.

Jackson, 32, pleaded guilty to attempted first degree murder in September, but Logan’s case went to trial.

In court, Crissy Flowers, one of three guards who took Jackson to the doctor, and the only one who was armed, testified that he pointed a gun at her and threatened to blow her head off.

“I closed my eyes and I was just begging him not to kill me,” Flowers said.

He stole her gun, which was later used to shoot Chesnut, and ordered her to get out her keys and unshackle the prisoner.

Prosecutors said the pair were fleeing to Louisville when Chesnut stopped their vehicle on Interstate 40 west of Nashville because Logan, 27, was not wearing a seatbelt.

Chesnut testified that Logan stood at the front bumper of the car while Jackson walked over to the officer, shot him several times and shouted at him.

Chesnut threw his car into reverse to try to get away.

“I was sitting there trying to breathe and then I looked up and I saw Mr. Jackson coming back toward me again,” Chesnut told jurors.

“So I felt like, well I’ve got to get out of here. He’s coming back to kill me or make sure I’m dead.”

Jackson had been serving a life sentence at the prison for two armed robberies and an aggravated assault.

Chesnut and his wife filed a lawsuit in October of last year against Corrections Corporation of America, the private company that runs the Delta Correctional Facility, accusing the firm of being negligent in its handling of the prisoner. CCA, in court documents, has said that the company was not to blame.