An Arkansas parole board has granted William 'Billy' Hamilton an early release from prison. The horse Credit Card and Shaun Smith were victims of SAU horse theft.

Jaci Jackson Released from Prison in SAU Horse Theft Case

Cowgirl’s early prison release

Jaci Rae Jackson was convicted in 2014 of six criminal conspiracy charges. A judge handed down two consecutive 5-year sentences. She must also complete 400 hours of community service and pay her victims $28,000 in restitution.
Jace Rae Jackson of SAU horse theft

Possibly one of the most hated cowgirls in the country is out of prison after serving less than two years behind bars.

Officials released Jaci Rae Jackson on Monday, November 23rd, from the Wrightsville Women’s Facility in Arkansas. The state granted Jackson an early release to the state of Oklahoma.

Why?

To make room for new prisoners the state tells us. The Arkansas Board of Corrections invoked the Emergency Powers Act. It allows the early release of prisoners when they’re within 90 days of parole.

If you don’t remember Jackson, she’s the barrel racer that attended Southern Arkansas University (SAU) in Magnolia. The former college rodeo team member landed in the women’s lock-up after a plan to steal her team members’ horses turned fatal.

A jury convicted Jackson in 2014 of six criminal conspiracy charges. A judge handed down two consecutive 5-year prison sentences.

She must also complete 400 hours of community service and pay her victims $28,000 in restitution.

In August, the Arkansas Parole Board approved Jackson’s parole. According to the state, her offense is non-discretionary. That means the board does not have the legal authority to deny her parole.

Jackson’s original parole date was February 2016.

 

SAU Horse Slaughter

The horse theft scheme, devised by Jackson’s mother, Wendi Cox, included stealing five horses, equipment, and a horse trailer from the SAU rodeo barn in November 2011. Cox’s boyfriend William “Billy” Hamilton, Jr., a convicted felon made her plan a reality. our of the horses were found tied and starving in Oklahoma near Cox’s home.

Testimony revealed the horses were stolen to resell. Cox wanted to buy her daughter a more competitive barrel racing horse until the plan became deadly.

Shaun Smith’s roping horse named Credit Card was the fifth horse. The sorrel gelding never made it home. Authorities found the horse slaughtered.

Documents state Jackson watched as Credit Card was shot in the head and had his throat slit by Hamilton. Jackson stated that Credit Card was then “quartered” or cut into numerous pieces by Hamilton [and a juvenile] for easy transport and disposal.

Credit Card reportedly presented a unique challenge in their plan to flip him quickly for a profit – three brands, a big head, and the possibility of a microchip. Their plan to “change the brands” became more difficult with him, which may have led to his horrific death.

 

SAU Horse Theft: where are they?

Cox was sentenced to 60 years in prison. Her appeals have been denied. Oklahoma hasn’t prosecuted the mom turned criminal mastermind.

Hamilton pleaded guilty in Arkansas and is serving 30 years. Additionally, he pleaded guilty to multiple felonies, including cruelty to animals, in Oklahoma’s case against him. He is serving both sentences concurrently in Arkansas.

Jackson lives in Oklahoma where she is under maximum supervision. She must perform the following: community service, make restitution payments, abide by a curfew unless she is at work, school or church, and have an employment plan. Jackson is also supposed to pick-up litter and complete drug testing.

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