The suspect charged in connection to the December 31, 2012 Pike Road murder of 19-year-old Jay McCollum pleaded guilty Thursday and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Jason Curtis Ferguson entered a plea agreement in the courtroom of Judge Eugene Reese Thursday, admitting to capital murder. He must also pay restitution of more than $20,000.
"Obviously, there's no good that can come out of a case like this. But what the community can rest assured knowing is that this person will be locked up for the rest of his life and will never walk the streets of Montgomery again, or any other streets," said Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey.
Ferguson was arrested on January 1, 2013 after being captured at the Evergreen Estates Mobile Home Park on Troy Highway.
The day prior, police say Ferguson broke into McCollum's home on Stableway Road in the Bridlebrook subdivision as the victim was sleeping. McCollum was shot, stabbed and beaten during the crime.
When reached for comment on his client's plea, attorney William Blanchard issued a statement saying Ferguson was remorseful for what he'd done and had "long accepted responsibility... for his part in this crime."
"He [Ferguson] had no history of violent conduct toward others, and is hard pressed to understand or explain just why he acted out violently in this instance," Blanchard said. "He feels terribly about it, and did try to express those feelings in the courtroom this morning, although he lacked the eloquence of those who spoke on behalf of the victim. Nevertheless, I believe he was sincere."
Ferguson was facing a possible death sentence, and Blanchard said a plea deal had long been discussed, but only recently "cemented with a written agreement."
"The defense team completely understands and sympathizes with the loss experienced by the victim's family, and wishes to thank those who decided to extend a measure of mercy to Jason Ferguson," Blanchard said.
Bailey sees this crime as part of a disturbing trend in the River Region.
Ferguson will be moved to a state prison, possibly within the next month, according to the attorney.
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