Long gets 3 life sentences

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 15, 2015

Circuit Judge Charles A. Short sentenced Jackie Long to three consecutive life sentences on Wednesday.

It took a jury less than an hour in December to find Long guilty of assault I, robbery I and burglary I involving the Wing home of Henry Jordan in December 2005.

He was also found not guilty of attempted murder.

District Attorney Walt Merrell, who prosecuted the case, asked the court to sentence Long to the maximum sentences available.

“We are asking the court for life on each count to be served consecutively with the intent he die in jail,” Merrell said. Jackie-Long-Montgomery-photo

Defense attorney David Baker argued that Long’s charges stemmed from a cold case file, and that burglary and robbery have a three-year statute of limitations.

The only way to bring the charges was to have the violent crimes of assault and attempted murder included.

Baker argued that the elements for the case were the same, therefore it would be double jeopardy.

The state called Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Mike Irwin to the stand to testify about Long’s lengthy criminal history.

Irwin testified that since 2009, he has interviewed hundreds of people, many of whom testified that Long had violent tendencies.

Additionally, wire tapes recorded Long confessing to multiple crimes ranging from drug trafficking to homicide, Irwin said.

Irwin also testified that Long has been indicted in a Florida cold case for capital murder of Leonard “Buddy” Phelps, a case that is more than 30 years old.

Irwin said the state of Florida will try Long for that crime “as soon as we can get him back.”

A family member discovered Phelps’ body at his Niceville, Fla., business. The apartment he kept above it had been ransacked and burglarized, according to The Northwest Florida Daily News.

Long previously served time in federal prison for a felony conspiracy to intimidate for his part in burning a cross in a black family’s yard in Florida.

Irwin testified that Lloyd Poole turned state’s evidence against Long and in 1997 he died in what was initially ruled as a traffic accident.

Irwin said that Florida law enforcement officials are currently pursuing a different angle and that Long’s son, Shane, said he was a witness to his father putting Poole’s unconscious body on the Interstate ramp to be run over.

“I don’t think he could be rehabilitated,” Irwin said. “I think he’s a potential threat to the community and law enforcement.”

Long has a criminal history that spans from 1981 until 2012.

Pardons and Parole Officer Jamey Wismer took the stand to discuss Long’s pre-sentence investigation.

While Long has a lengthy list of charges, he has only been convicted of crimes such as controlled substance, trespassing, criminal mischief, conspiracy to intimidate, assault and domestic violence and a marijuana charge, in addition to the three charges for which he was convicted in December.

He did plead no contest to felony battery in 2005 and filing false reports and perjury in 2008.

“Judge Short did the right thing,” Merrell said. “Jackie Long is one of the most dangerous men I’ve ever prosecuted. Society is absolutely best served when Mr. Long is deprived of his freedom.”