An agreement was reached in Rusk County Circuit Court for a Ladysmith who entered two no contest pleas to two charges of arson.
On June 17, Danny D. Jackson, 59, entered no contest pleas to two felony counts of arson of property other than a building. Charges of misdemeanor bail jumping and felony bail jumping were dismissed but read in.
Following the no contest pleas, Jackson will no longer be allowed to possess any firearm or body armor.
In addition to Jackson’s charges, he is expected to enter a no contest plea to a charge of third offense OWI during a sentencing hearing scheduled for Sept. 4 in Rusk County Circuit Court. The plea agreement recommends a sentencing of $1,744 in fines, 60 days in the Rusk County Jail, 24 months of revocation of his driver’s license, installing an ignition interlock devise and paying $23.50 in restitution.
During the plea hearing, a pre-sentence investigation was ordered in preparation of his sentencing. Attorneys will have the opportunity to argue on sentencing on the arson charges during the sentencing hearing.
According to the criminal complaint, on May 27, 2019, at approximately 9:19 p.m. two Ladysmith police officers responded to a Ladysmith residence for a garage fire. The property owner’s daughter believed the fire to have been intentionally started by Jackson.
On June 1 at approximately 11:25 p.m. a Ladysmith police officer responded to a Ladysmith residence on a report that two vehicles were on fire in the caller’s driveway. The caller could see a line of fire on the ground leading between the vehicles that were parked 8-9 feet from each other.
Firefighters later showed the officers where it appeared a fire accelerant have been poured on different parts of the vehicles. It appeared an accelerant had been poured between the seams of the front fender and the hood and the back fender and the trunk of one vehicle. Damage to the second vehicle indicated that an accelerant had been poured on the lower windshield on the passenger side.
The paint on both vehicles appeared to be burned only where the accelerant had been poured and the odor of gasoline was noticed near the vehicle parked closest to the garage.
After the vehicle fires were extinguished, officers went to Jackson’s residence and were told he had been home all day. When the officers mentioned they could feel warmth near Jackson’s engine on his vehicle, Jackson told the officers in a vulgar manner to leave or arrest him.
On June 2 at approximately 9:13 p.m. Ladysmith police officers were dispatched to the Ladysmith residence where the vehicle fires occurred the day prior, on a report Jackson had been driving by the residence squealing his tires. The family told the officers they were afraid of Jackson.
While at this residence, the Rusk County Dispatch received a report that two more vehicles were on fire. Again it appeared the vehicles had had a fire accelerant poured onto them. Ladysmith firefighters noticed similarities between these vehicle fires and those from the previous day.
Officers responded to Jackson’s residence and noticed his vehicle was parked two houses north of his Ladysmith residence. Neighbors told officers they noticed Jackson driving at a high rate of speed, parking in a driveway two houses down the block. The neighbor also reported he did not see Jackson walk to his home and felt that Jackson could have walked through the backyard.
While speaking with another neighbor, officers noticed a red gas can in her backyard. When she returned home at 7:30 p.m. the can had not been there, according to the criminal complaint.
As the officers attempted to make contact with Jackson, they saw his vehicle pull out of the driveway without headlights and then pull into his own driveway.
Jackson was arrested for OWI third offense, after he behaved in an extremely belligerent and vulgar manner toward law enforcement, and was transported to Marshfield Medical Center – Ladysmith for a blood draw. While transporting Jackson, the officer could smell gasoline coming from Jackson.
At the time of the incident, Jackson’s blood alcohol content was 17.
Officers learned during an interview with a roommate that Jackson left the house for a short time on June 1 when he left the home at 11 p.m. and on June 2 left the home at 9:30 p.m. On June 2, he returned to his home and told the female “I torched it good.”