COCOA, Fla. — The family of a Cocoa mother who police said was shot and killed by a man accused of trying to sexually batter her last year said that suspect threatened her before her disappearance.
Jackson disappeared Feb. 9 and was last seen on surveillance video in a Cocoa McDonald's.
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Police said Taylor committed the kidnapping and murder in order to avoid a possible life sentence for the attempted sexual battery case.
"We believe that she was killed because of the prior case,” Cocoa police Chief Mike Cantaloupe said.
Police said Jackson was the victim in that case, and family said she had given a deposition in the days before her disappearance.
"She did verbally convey that she was afraid,” Jackson’s aunt, Sharon Jones-Smith, said. “Not only that she was afraid, but that she had received several threats from him. Several attempts to get her to change her story."
Eyewitness News asked State Attorney Phil Archer’s office about whether those safety concerns were communicated to prosecutors and how it was handled.
A spokesperson said the office is unable to release much information because it is an ongoing criminal case but said the office is "reviewing all of the available evidence linking Tashaun's murder to the existing prosecution."
Police confirmed Wednesday that the search earlier this month of the Cocoa home on Fay Street where Taylor lived was in connection with Jackson’s murder.
Jackson’s family said Taylor and Jackson grew up in the same neighborhood and as minors, Taylor once pulled a gun on Jackson.
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