The second season of A&E’s “Kids Behind Bars: Life or Parole” follows in the steps of its inaugural season which explored the cases of previously convicted juvenile offenders who are seeking resentencing thanks to a United States Supreme Court ruling.
Each episode covers the story of an offender who was a juvenile at the time of the crime they committed and their legal team as they attempt to get released or resentenced to a lighter sentence that would make them eligible for parole. The second season’s premiere episode, “Shelton,” follows 48-year-old Shelton Jackson, who was convicted of murder in a 1990 homicide when he was 17 years old, as he seeks resentencing.
On January 26, 1990, Thomas Maynard’s body was found face-up with two bullet wounds and the arrest report said he had “at least one gunshot to the back of the head,” The Florida Times-Union reported. His wedding ring and wallet were gone, the outlet wrote. Jackson and three others were charged with Maynard’s death but Jackson, 17 at the time of his sentencing in July 1990, was the only one who was under 18.
Where is Shelton Jackson now?
Jackson Remains in Prison as COVID-19 & Administrative Delays Caused His Resentencing Hearing to Be Pushed Back
Public records with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office show that Jackson, 48, is currently at the Duval County jail in Florida, where he was moved to await his hearing, with his next court date listed as September 20, 2021, at 9 a.m. The Florida Department of Corrections website shows that Jackson is currently out of the department’s custody by court order.
Court documents from 2019 show that Jackson was granted a resentencing, and the First District Court of Appeal in Florida ruled that any appeals the state may have must wait until Jackson is resentenced.
At the start of 2020, the Sentencing Project found that there were 1,465 people who were serving juvenile life without parole sentences and there are 25 states who still allow juveniles to be sentenced to life without parole.
Maynard’s Widow Spoke Out Against Resentencing & Said Jackson Should ‘Do the Time’
Maynard’s widow Leesa has spoken out against Shelton getting a resentencing, telling A&E in the episode, “I’m a total believer that if you do the crime, you do the time. He is a convicted murderer and the truth should stand.”
In addition to Jackson, Anthony Smith, who was 19 years old at the time, was also sentenced to life in prison without parole. Public records show that Smith, now 50, is currently in prison at the Sumter Correctional Institution. Jackson told officers that he fired the first shot at Maynard’s head but it did not kill him, according to a report quoted by The Florida Times-Union. Maynard then begged Jackson not to kill him, the report stated, at which point Anthony Smith grabbed the gun and shot him in the head.
Jackson was sentenced to life in prison, as was Smith, who was 19 years old at the time of the murder and is now 50, public records show. Anthony Smith’s older brother Bobby, who was also involved in the murder, received 25 years in prison and was released in 2002. Jackson’s older brother Larry Jackson was 26 years old and sentenced to 35 years; he was released in 2014.