Thomas C. Maynard, 31, was shot and killed on January 26, 1990, just one week after his wife had given birth to their first child. An arrest report said his body was found on Hollybrook Avenue in Jacksonville, Florida, with his wallet and wedding ring missing, The Florida Times-Union reported. He had been shot twice, including “at least one gunshot to the back of the head” in an execution-style, the outlet wrote.
According to the Times-Union, Maynard’s wife Leesa said he left the house at 8:45 p.m. to go to the Publix supermarket. He was planning to take out cash at the ATM to buy formula for their newborn baby. She said she never saw him again.
A&E’s second season of “Kids Behind Bars: Life or Parole” premiered on August 26 with an episode exploring Maynard’s shooting death and the person convicted of killing him, Shelton Jackson. Jackson was 17 years old at the time of the murder and received a life sentence without the possibility of parole but because of a United States Supreme Court ruling, juvenile offenders who received life sentences can seek resentencing.
Investigators Traced Maynard’s Last Steps & Discovered That 4 Men Were Responsible for His Death
Law enforcement discovered that Maynard’s bank card had been used at 10:30 p.m. at an ATM at a different Publix and $260 was taken from his account. They also found his car three days later, on January 29, near Moncrief Road, The Florida Times-Union reported.
An eyewitness told authorities they saw two men and a woman that they recognized in that stolen car. Officers went to the woman’s apartment on Moncrief on January 30 and found in the home a TV that Maynard had been transporting in his vehicle, the outlet wrote. Officers then took the woman and another who was present to the station for further questioning.
Arrest reports stated that the women told officers they knew about the murder, the Times-Union reported. One of the women said her two brothers, Anthony and Bobby Smith, and her boyfriend Larry Jackson had all ridden in the car with her. The report also indicated that the woman said her boyfriend told her his brother, Shelton Jackson, was the one who shot Maynard. Anthony Smith also fired a second shot, she said. The four men were arrested, the outlet wrote.
Shelton Jackson Told Officers What Happened the Night of Maynard’s Death
According to The Florida Times-Union, Jackson told officers that the four men kidnapped Maynard and made him withdraw the money at the Publix ATM. The group then took Maynard to Hollybrook Avenue and made the 31-year-old lie on the ground as they took his belongings. Jackson said he fired a shot at the victim’s head but it did not kill Maynard. The report continued, as quoted by the Times-Union:
According to Shelton Jackson, the victim begged him not to kill him and not to shoot him again. Jackson then stated that he fired once again into the ground to make the victim be quiet, at which time Anthony Smith told him to give him the weapon and fired another shot into the victim’s head, which appeared to have killed him.
Jackson was sentenced to life in prison, as was Anthony Smith, who was 19 years old at the time of the murder and is now 50, public records show. Bobby Smith was 20 at the time of the crime and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. He was released in 2002. Jackson’s older brother Larry Jackson was 26 years old and received a 35-year sentence. He was released in 2014.