A small measure of justice for MiAndrew Rachel and his family was delivered on Friday when Godfrey Jamal Jackson (below) was sentenced to 60 years to life in prison for his murder. Jackson, initially charged in 2012, evaded police for several months before being apprehended on December 15th, 2012. Jackson’s lawyer had issued a not-guilty plea citing the lack of premeditation and a harsh upbringing, but Alameda County Superior Court Judge Trina Thompson upheld the stiff sentence citing “we’ve reached a point in our community that being disrespected and engaging in a battle of words can result in the loss of life”.
Jackson was also charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and violating his probation. Jackson is also a registered sex offender after a 2007 lewd act conviction with a 13-year-old girl.
On September 6, 2012 during a late-night rap battle, words were exchanged that led to a confrontation between the two men. Jackson, according to testimony, obtained a gun and fired several shots at the unarmed Rachel. He was hit five times and left in the street to die in the 900 block of West McArthur Boulevard. Police who responded pronounced him dead at the scene. The 24-year-old was Oakland’s 82nd homicide in 2012.
Rachel’s grandmother, Theresa Savage whom raised him at her Emeryville home was distraught. “I’m very sickened. He was a nice kid”. According to Ms. Savage, Rachel had a passion for art and was very close to his family.
Rachel’s grandfather was Robert Lee Savage (1933-2003), a former Councilmember and the first African-American Mayor of Emeryville having served two terms in the mid-1990s. He was instrumental in bringing Emeryville its first grocery store (Pak ‘n Save) to the East Bay Bridge shopping center and there is a plaque outside denoting this achievement. The City also named its recreation center on San Pablo, The Robert L. Savage Recreation Center in his honor. “Bob Savage was a community oriented Councilmember & Mayor” mentioned longtime Councilmember Nora Davis when reached for comment. “The Recreation Center is named after him because he was a huge supporter of both the Rec. program and the Child Development Center. He was a strong supporter of unions and a long-term employee of PG&E. E’ville was fortunate to have a man of his caliber on the Council during some very contentious years”.
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