In a verdict delivered on Monday, a Tarrant County jury sentenced Ronnie Jackson, 41, to life in prison after finding him guilty of aggravated assault of a peace officer with a deadly weapon. The charges stem from a 2020 attack against a Fort Worth police officer.
The incident occurred on June 13, 2020, when patrol officers attempted to stop Jackson, who was evading arrest in a stolen vehicle on Interstate 820. As he approached the Camp Bowie West Boulevard exit, an officer, Matt Brazeal, positioned on the roadside deployed spike strips to impede the fleeing suspect.
However, instead of yielding, Jackson drove directly at Brazeal, striking and subsequently running over him. After the assault, Jackson fled the scene and sought refuge in a nearby neighborhood. Brazeal was transported to the hospital and underwent immediate surgery to address extensive and life-threatening injuries. Brazeal returned to the force after three long years of rehab and about 60 surgeries in June of 2023.
During the trial, Tarrant County Assistant District Attorneys Lisa Callaghan and D.J. Estes presented the case against Jackson, emphasizing the intentional nature of the attack. Estes argued that Jackson posed a danger to society, stating, "It is safer for everyone, including the defendant, if he is in prison."
Callaghan described the incident as a deliberate act of aggression, asserting, "Someone was out joyriding and didn't give a damn who he hit." She urged the jury to consider the message their sentence would send to both law enforcement and the community.
Addressing the jury, Callaghan emphasized their role as the moral compass of the community, urging them to "do the right thing" and "point true north" in their decision. The trial also acknowledged the efforts of DA Investigator Ben Lopez and Victim Advocate Laura Medina, along with the Fort Worth Police Department's commitment to ensuring community safety.
Ronnie Jackson will now face a life sentence for the aggravated assault on a peace officer, as determined by the Tarrant County jury.