Capital murder suspect Robert Leon Jackson out on early release for attempted armed robbery when he was arrested and accused of shooting two people in a convenience store armed robbery last month was returned to the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections Thursday.




Jackson’s tentative release date, according to MDOC’s website, is now set for Nov. 25, 2019, but Philadelphia Police Chief Grant Myers says they’ve placed a hold as the authorities await state Crime Lab reports to wrap up their murder investigation.

Jackson was charged with the capital murder in the Aug. 25 deaths of 27-year-old Megan Staats and 33-year-old Jeremy Apperson at the CEFCO convenience store, 1534 Mississippi 16 west, and denied bond.

Jackson was serving a 15-year sentence on a 2012 attempted armed robbery conviction in Jackson when was released in January under the state Department of Correction’s Earned Release Supervision program.

According to the DOC's website, Jackson was returned to DOC custody Thursday. His tentative release date is set for Nov. 25, 2019. 

According to DOC Communications Director Grace Simmons Fisher, Jackson's original release into the ERS program was determined by consideration of several factors. 


Decisions for participation in the ERS program are made by the DOC's Division of Offender Services, which handles all classifications of inmates in DOC custody. 

According to Fisher, the factors the division considers include a complete history of institutional conduct, program participation, the severity of the offense, victim/community opposition and time served. 

Fisher said release dates are set based upon established criteria, and if an individual meets certain criteria then they may be released on ERS, although such release is not automatic.

Fisher could not provide specifics on the factors warranting Jackson's early release.

Fisher said that once Jackson was released, he would have been supervised by a probation or parole officer, but did not provide the name of the officer responsible for supervising Jackson. 

Myers has said Jackson has an extensive criminal background in Hinds County. He has been charged twice with armed robbery, and he appears to have been indicted for murder in 2013.

Myers noted the MDOC recently has found ways to release convicted criminals earlier and earlier from prison. “I feel that if it is a violent crime, they should serve every day of their sentence,” he said then.

Jackson had gone into City Furniture on Bailey Avenue with the intention of robbing the business, but a store employee shot him, WLBT reported in 2010.

“Police say Jackson boldly entered the store displaying a weapon. But a store employee turned then tables on Jackson when he pulled out a gun and fired several shots at the would-be-robber,” the station reported.