'Warlord' of motorcycle club gets six-year prison sentence for role in armed robbery

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To the people in Roodhouse, a small community of 1,800 in Greene County, Timothy Jackson was a family man, a hard worker and community-minded. He was the assistant chief of the town's volunteer fire department, serving under his father, who was the chief. He served a term as an alderman.

"He was the kind of guy who would have your back," Russell Iverson said. He worked with Jackson as a guard at the Illinois Department of Correction's Jacksonville Correctional Center for 15 years.

To members of the Liberty-based Midwest Percenters motorcycle club, Jackson was the club's "Warlord."

According to testimony given at the armed robbery trials of his fellow Midwest Percenters members, Jackson was the man who demanded that two members of the Tunnel Rats club give up their vests during an altercation at the intersection of 12th and Hampshire in Quincy on May 20, 2012.

"This isn't a (expletive) game," Jackson was quoted as saying by one of the Tunnel Rats members. "We'll (expletive) kill you. Give us your (expletive) cuts."

Jackson was sentenced Thursday to six years in prison. He was convicted by an Adams County Circuit Court jury on an aggravated robbery charge at the end of a four-day trial in February. He was eligible for probation but instead became the third club member sent to the Illinois Department of Corrections for his actions that day.

After reading letters of recommendation from Jackson's friends and family members and then hearing about how he acted on the day of the incident, Judge John Wooleyhan had one question for Jackson before sentencing him.

He asked what possessed Jackson to do what he did that day.

"(It was) a foolish decision to react to an ego," Jackson said, "and to react to actions of another individual. I wouldn't let that happen again."

The sentence was half of what Assistant State's Attorney Josh Jones requested.

"They were bullies, all of them," Jones said. "They decided that they were going to exercise control and take what they wanted."

Iverson was one of five character witnesses who testified on Jackson's behalf during the 90-minute hearing in Adams County Circuit Court. Jackson's attorney, Todd Eyler, also called Jackson's former boss, his nephew, his sister and one of his daughters. They all spoke highly of Jackson.

"That's diametrically opposed to what he did on May 20, 2012," Jones said. "The Timothy Jackson that his friends and family know is not the Timothy Jackson who is the ‘Warlord' of the Midwest Percenters."

Eyler argued that since Jackson has no previous felony convictions and that he is an upstanding member in Roodhouse that he would be a good candidate for probation.

"Outside of this incident, he's been a law-abiding citizen," Eyler said. "He does have respect for the law and does have what it takes to successfully complete a term of probation."

Eyler said Jackson could be in danger if sent to prison because he once was a corrections guard. Jackson quit that job in the late 1990s to get into the trucking business.

After initially denying his role in the incident, Jackson took responsibility as he addressed Wooleyhan.

"I made some bad decisions that day," he said. "I'm very sorry for the events that took place that day. I can say a decision like that will never be made again."

Wooleyhan said Jackson told the Probation Department that he only wanted to give the rival club members a "lecture on manners and respect."

"It was a bad decision," Wooleyhan told Jackson before announcing his sentence. "It was the kind of thing you might see happen with kids in junior high school."

Jackson was given credit for 45 days already served in the Adams County Jail. He must serve two years of mandatory supervised release when his prison sentence is finished. He has been in the Adams County Jail since the end of his trial.

Jackson was the last club member to be sentenced in the case. Joseph E. Teel, 40, of Barry, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in May after being convicted of armed robbery. Gerald R. Utterback, 45, of Barry, was sentenced to five years in prison on an aggravated robbery conviction last week. Zane E. Liggett, 56, of Camp Point, was sentenced Wednesday to 24 months probation on a mob action charge. He testified against both Utterback and Jackson in their trials.

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