Courts

Jury convicts on lesser charge of manslaughter in Fowler Avenue shooting

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A county jury earlier this month voted to convict a man of a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter tied to a shooting in 2019 earlier this month, according to court records.

The issue at trial wasn’t whether Tijann Hardy shot and killed Keneitra Jackson on June 1, 2019 – both parties admitted Hardy was the shooter. The man’s lawyer, however, argued that Jackson attacked Hardy, starting an altercation that ended when she charged at his client, leaving him no choice but to shoot her.

While the jury didn’t believe Hardy’s actions in killing Jackson rose to murder under California law, the lesser conviction hardly exonerates him. His conviction on the manslaughter count carries a sentencing range of probation to up to 11 years in prison. Murder, by contrast, can result in sentences of 25-to-life and, with particularly brutal circumstances, the death penalty.

Jackson was found dead, lying face up with gunshot wounds to her mid-back and left buttocks, on the sidewalk outside of a home on Fowler Avenue. One witness reported seeing a fight, involving a Black man and a heavyset Black woman, which was broken up. Gunshots rang out moments later, and another witness said he heard a man yell “I’m gonna go get my gun.”

CSI investigators collected three spent shell casings and a distinctive “T” shaped necklace, which they later used as part of an effort to link Hardy to the killing. Surveillance video showed the moment Hardy shot and killed Jackson. As a group of men broke up the duo and attempted to push Hardy towards a car when Jackson is seen running back into frame towards the man. He fires several shots, and she falls to the ground on the sidewalk.

One of Jackson’s friends revealed to investigators that the fight began after Hardy asked her and a friend if they wanted a threesome. Jackson began to raise her voice and a friend snatched Hardy’s phone as it was ringing, apparently triggering a physical altercation.

Hardy punched Jackson several times in the nose before the fight was broken up, causing her to bleed. After the fight was broken up, Jackson was shuffled into a friend’s car, which was driving out of the neighborhood when they crossed paths with Hardy a second time.

Jackson jumped out of the car and ran towards Hardy, looking to resume the fight a second time.

“Hell nah, look at my face!” she exclaimed.

What the video showed was largely disputed at trial. Prosecutors described Jackson’s run as “jogging”, while Hardy lawyer Alexander Asterlin argued that the woman was “bull-rushing” him. The Update hasn’t independently reviewed the referenced footage.

Despite the jury’s not guilty verdict on the murder charge, it was revealed that Hardy was afraid he would be arrested for just that following the shooting. He was identified through several social media pictures and a photo lineup, later being located in near a hotel in Oakland on June 7, 2019.

Inside the hotel room was a broken gold chain, a ripped tank top, and a black iPhone with photos of Hardy wearing the distinctive “T” pendant found at the crime scene. Other pictures saved on the device included a Glock 23 handgun and photos of the same ammunition found at the crime scene.

Detectives also reviewed several Google searches found on Hardy’s phone after the shooting, including “What’s all the evidence police will need to convict a murder”, “Can you be convicted without the murder weapon”, and “How can you find out if a person is wanted for murder.”

Ethan Biando
Ethan Biando is a freelance journalist from Sacramento. His writing focuses on crime, courts, and policing. Find him on Twitter @ethanb822

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