Reina Gabriela Jackson, who also goes by Reina Gabriela Matute-Ruano, stands accused of one count of murder in the second degree and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder in the second degree, for the Aug. 2, 2021, slaying of Dr. Craig Jackson, 45, according to a press release issued by Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier.
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The victim was found at his North Bend residence with a gunshot wound to the head, police said. Jackson’s wife told authorities that two unknown men broke into the house, fought with the victim, shot and killed him, and left, Eugene-based ABC affiliate KEZI reported.
“We believe that there were three people involved in the death of Dr. Jackson,” Frasier said in comments reported by Roseburg, Oregon-based CBS affiliate KPIC. “We believe Reina Jackson is obviously one of those participants in the death. The other two are male individuals, and we’ve not been able to identify who they are at this point.”
Craig Jackson’s family offered a cash reward for information related to his murder; his colleagues remembered him fondly.
“He was an important person in our community,” Bay Clinic CEO Elana Crane said in comments reported by Coos Bay-based CBS affiliate KCBY. “He had a big patient base. He was very clinically sound. He was a hard worker. He was a partner within our practice. You know, you can never replace someone. You learn how to live with a loss … and that’s kind of where we are right now.”
Reina Jackson was a suspect more or less from the start.
In last week’s press release, Frasier said a nationwide warrant for the defendant’s arrest was issued “shortly thereafter” her ex-husband was killed. She is believed to have fled the country and returned to her native Guatemala after the crime was carried out.
“There was a divorce proceeding between her and Dr. Jackson. The divorce had been finalized … I want to say 2016-2017,” the DA told KPIC. “There were ongoing issues, though, with child custody.”
The Coos County DA’s office had planned to file a formal extradition request with Guatemalan authorities when Reina Jackson returned stateside on her own accord, the DA told KPIC.
“She flew back into the United States apparently unaware that there were warrants for her arrest, and she was apprehended in Atlanta, Georgia,” Frasier said. “The authorities in Atlanta have issued what’s called a fugitive complaint. It will be filed with her in the courts in Atlanta.”
The defendant was arrested on June 14.
Reina Jackson is being detained in an Atlanta jail, pending extradition back to the Beaver State, and has yet to be arraigned.
The investigation into the dead doctor’s ex-wife spanned nearly two years, the DA’s office said and included a task force of no less than 12 different agencies. The lead agency on the case was the North Bend Police Department.
The defendant was also arrested on a warrant for allegedly violating the terms of her probation when she left Coos County in 2021.
Frasier told Law&Crime that her indictment could not be released until her arraignment and that until then, “it is considered to be secret.” The DA said he had no additional comments about the case.
A neighbour who remained anonymous expressed satisfaction with the development in Dr. Jackson’s murder case.
“I’m glad they caught up with her, I really am,” they told KEZI. “I was curious when people were here searching the
neighbourhood for any evidence they said they had never left any murder go unsolved. And they indicated that this may take some time. And I’m glad they finally did catch up with her.”
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