CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - After the morning testimony, it became very clear that the witnesses against Frank Q. Jackson were not strong witnesses, so things changed quickly.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Saffold challenged friends of the woman who accused Jackson of choking and hitting her with a trailer hitch. He even noted that in the beginning, they all called the weapon a pole and now a hitch.
“If you saw this, would you call it a pole?,” he asked a witness.
When she used slang to answer, he shot back, “I’m not your brother. I’m a 50-year-old grown man and I’d like a little respect and I’m going to treat you with respect.”
That exchange was the highlight.
At noon, the judge broke for lunch, but prosecutors huddled with supervisors and came back within minutes with a deal.
Just then, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson arrived.
“Count one, initially charged as a felonious assault; we’d ask the court to amend that to a misdemeanor of the first-degree assault,” prosecutor Brad Meyer told the judge.
Put simply, it is a far less serious charge with far lower penalties.
Jackson accepted the deal and with that, it was over.
He got a 90-day suspended jail sentence, probation and credit for eight days served.
Leaving, Jackson’s attorney’s repeated his assertion.
“As I said months ago, this was a terrible case that would never have been brought were it not for who his grandfather is, so it’s a shame we had to go through all this,”
19 News asked Mayor Jackson, the defendant’s grandfather, about the assertion.
“Mr. Saffold said, 'Mayor it’s all about you and this never would have been charged if you weren’t the mayor of Cleveland.”
He replied, “I’m just happy for my grandson.”