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Man Charged With Cabbie's Murder Out On Bail

By Sam Bakken in News on Apr 8, 2005 9:33PM

4_2005_cab.jpgYesterday evening, Michael L. Jackson walked out of Cook County Jail after a judge set his bail at $750,000 earlier in the day. To go free while he awaited trial, Jackson needed to post at least 10 percent of the bail. (Which is what kids? That's right! Take away one zero and what do you have? $75,000! Good job! You get a gold star.)

Jackson is the 37-year-old AIDS activist and former director of communication for the STD/HIV/AIDS division of the city Health Department that allegedly argued with 61-year-old Haroon Paryani then ran him over a couple of times with Paryani's cab. Jackson is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated vehicular carjacking and has pleaded innocent. Jackson had been in custody since he turned himself into police on February 4.

Jackson was denied bail twice before. Bond can be denied in cases where a conviction is almost certain and the death penalty or life in prison are possible sentences. But at the hearing yesterday Circuit Judge James Schreier said, "A jury at some point will sort out the issues in this case and render a just verdict. But at this time, the proof is not great and the presumption is not evident." No trial date has been set.

The Sun-Times got ahold of some transcripts of one of Jackson's friend's testimony in front of a Cook County grand jury investigating the incident. The friend, Douglas Ferguson, testified that after the quarrel with the cabbie, Jackson pressed the button on his apartment buzzer repeatedly and said that someone was after him and wanted to kill him. Jackson told Ferguson the fight had started because he had no money to pay his fare and that he "remembered seeing the taxi driver on the ground and seeing some blood. He said he might have run into the taxi driver or somehow he thinks he ran over him."

Not that it matters what we think, but we don't buy Jackson's story. When did he decide that he was afraid of Paryani? Was it before or after Paryani's ribs broke? Maybe it was after Paryani's sternum shattered underneath the cab's tires? We stand by the label we previously bestowed upon Jackson, "DICKHEAD!". We're also still pretty confident in our crystal meth prediction. In the grand jury testimony Ferguson said he didn't think Jackson had taken anything except alcohol. But with the hormones you expect to rush through a person's body, or neurotransmitters through their brain, after a fist-fight (not to mention those charging through your body and brain after hearing that your friend may have killed a man), it's probably tough to judge whether that person was high.