BELTON — A Temple man who is a repeat offender and is charged with four felony offenses represented himself Thursday in a Bell County courtroom.
Randle Jackson, 41, walked into state District Judge John Gauntt’s court Thursday in his orange jail clothing. He stood beside attorney Anthony Smith at the defense table — until Smith sat down and Jackson remained standing.
Jackson is charged with three counts of aggravated assault against a public servant and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. He’s currently held in the Bell County Jail in lieu of $400,000 bail.
Prior to Jackson’s appearance, Gauntt rifled through two large files, each several inches thick and held in red binders, maybe in preparation for the status hearing.
Jackson reportedly fired a gun at several Temple Police officers in September 2017 and then barricaded himself in a house in the 800 block of South Seventh Street. He finally surrendered after many gas canisters were shot into the house. The surrender occurred after an almost seven-hour standoff.
During the incident, a St. Mary’s Catholic School teacher was shot during a gunfire exchange between Jackson and Temple Police officers.
Jackson has been in jail for almost 22 months, he told Gauntt, and he asked for a bond reduction hearing because he can’t afford the $40,000 plus collateral bail bondsmen want to get him released. Jackson asked Gauntt to give him a personal recognizance bond because of the length of time he’s already been jailed.
The first bond amounts in 2017 totaled $1,150,000.
Gauntt — who previously rejected a bond hearing — said Jackson is indigent.
When asked by Gauntt how many witnesses Jackson would have at the bond hearing, Jackson looked briefly but intently at those seated behind him in the courtroom. His eyes briefly lingered on a woman in the seats opposite where he stood.
Then he quietly said, “One, your honor.”
Gauntt strongly advised Jackson to use Smith in his case because it was “in your best interests.” He said his experience over the years has strongly enforced his belief that co-counsel is needed in cases in which a person decides to be his or her own attorney.
A bond reduction hearing was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. July 17.
Prosecutors for the case are Bell County assistant district attorneys Dana Nelson and Leslie McWilliams.