A felon known for Seattle property destruction cases recently damaged a historic Chinese urn worth more than $100,000, and now the Seattle Art Museum is working to repair the irreplaceable 18th-centry piece.
Court documents show the suspect, Michael Anthony Jackson, has a lengthy history of mental health problems and also was convicted for the 1993 murder of a 3-year-old foster child.
In the recent case, police said Jackson was at the State Convention Center, where several art pieces are on loan from the Seattle Art Museum. He was seen sitting in one of the lobby chairs about 8:30 p.m. June 27.
“For no apparent reason, suspect Jackson became upset and jumped to his feet,” Officer Anna Green wrote in a probable cause document. “Suspect Jackson grabbed a small potted plant that was sitting on a low table near his chair and threw it twice, breaking the pot. Suspect Jackson then went up the stairs toward the main escalators for the Convention Center.
“Partway up these stairs, Jackson pushed over a large Chinese incense burner which was on display. The Chinese urn fell down the stairs and was damaged.”
Jackson fled and wasn’t found until the next night, when Convention Center security officers found him asleep at one of the tables. He was wearing the same clothes as the night before. Surveillance video shows the urn being damaged, but does not clearly show the man’s face.
Jackson listed the Union Gospel Mission in Seattle’s Pioneer Square as his address.
Police say Jackson also was involved in property damage cases on June 2 and July 10, 2013. In a third case, on July 28, 2013, police said Jackson broke a car window and store windows with a metal pole.
“The defendant’s erratic and destructive behavior is troubling and raises the risk of violence,” Deputy Prosecutor Jacob Brown wrote in charging documents. “This is especially so in light of the defendant’s criminal history.”
Jackson’s criminal history includes convictions for malicious mischief, domestic violence assault, assault and negligent driving.
In March 1993, Jackson killed 3-year-old Breighonna Moore, a foster child. He and Laurina Jackson, who also was convicted, claimed the girl was injured by accidentally falling off a swing set. But when the girl was bought to a Renton hospital the day before her death, she was bruised and doctors said she’d been beaten.
The Jacksons were facing 10 to 14 years behind bars when they fled to Florida. They were arrested when they tried to get welfare benefits there and an alert clerk called police.
They fought extradition, but were eventually returned to King County and sentenced to 30 years in prison – an exceptional sentence by a judge who didn’t think the standard maximum was enough. In court hearings, the foster girl’s mother cried and told KIRO 7 she hoped the couple would get the electric chair or life in prison.
But the death penalty wasn’t an option.
Court documents show Michael Jackson had another conviction in 1998, that time for negligent driving. The terms of his Department of Corrections supervision ended in 2011, an agency spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Jackson now faces a felony malicious mischief charge for damaging the art piece.
Seattle Art Museum spokeswoman Wendy Malloy did not comment on the ongoing police investigation other than saying the piece was badly damaged and was being repaired.
Jackson, 45, is expected to have an arraignment, where he’ll enter a plea, later this month.