A Wasilla man was arrested Thursday on charges of first- and second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of his wife at their home this week.
A prosecutor described 43-year-old Christina Jackson’s death early Monday morning as a domestic-violence homicide during an arraignment hearing Friday for 49-year-old Michael Jackson. A public defender, however, described the shooting as a matter of self-defense.
Michael Jackson called 911 around 4 a.m. Monday and reported his wife attacked him, he “had to stop her” and she was not breathing after being shot, according to a sworn affidavit filed with charges by Trooper Todd Moehring.
Michael Jackson performed CPR on Christina Jackson and first responders provided aid when they arrived, but she died at the house from four gunshot wounds to her torso, the affidavit said. The couple’s children were in the home during the shooting, which occurred in the living room.
The house was dark when investigators arrived, and there was a large knife found near Christina Jackson’s body, the affidavit said. Michael Jackson did not mention the knife during multiple interviews with detectives, according to the affidavit.
During an interview with detectives, Michael Jackson told troopers that his wife had hit him, although he did not elaborate on details, Moehring wrote. Troopers noted red marks under his eyes and one on the back of his head and he was evaluated at the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, the affidavit said. Medical staff did not find any significant injuries, he wrote.
Christina Jackson’s family members told investigators the couple had a bad relationship and fought often, the affidavit said.
She had wanted to get a divorce, but feared that she would not be able to financially support two households, Moehring wrote. Michael Jackson “was not always able to hold a job,” he wrote.
During a hearing Friday, Jackson said he was a stay-at-home father and had not generated any income this year.
Christina Jackson had applied for an apartment in Anchorage about a month prior to the shooting, a property manager for their home told investigators. Michael Jackson found out about the application from the property manager and told her not to act on it, according to the affidavit.
“I think it’s appropriate to acknowledge that there’s a heightened risk of danger at that time, when that’s happening,” Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Del Frate said during Friday’s hearing about Christina Jackson trying to leave the relationship.
Christina Jackson’s death was a homicide, Del Frate said, adding that Michael Jackson made admissions to law enforcement about the shooting.
But Jackson’s public defender, Jacob Clark, said the circumstances surrounding the shooting made it “a great self-defense case.”
Clark noted during Friday’s hearing that a knife was found next to Christina Jackson and said Michael Jackson’s failure to mention the weapon was “a product of shock and all of his statements are all consistent with a person who just went through the horror of having to shoot his own wife in self-defense.”
Michael Jackson is being held on a $500,000 cash bond at Mat-Su Pretrial Facility while he faces charges of first- and second-degree murder in the fatal shooting.
Christina Jackson was a founding member of the Doctor of Pharmacy partnership between the University of Alaska Anchorage and the Idaho State University College of Pharmacy, according to a Facebook post from the program. She served as the program coordinator for the last five years.
“Chris will be remembered as a kind, caring, and hard-working member of our campus community,” officials from the Idaho college wrote in a statement.
An online fundraiser started by the executive associate dean of the Alaska program described Christina Jackson as “exceptionally smart, naturally talented at organizing, determinedly dedicated and a fierce advocate for our pharmacy students.” The fundraiser was started to support her two children.