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DA’s Office Won’t Pursue Case Against UTEP’s Stefon Jackson

EL PASO, Texas – The District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that UTEP basketball star Stefon Jackson will not face criminal charges.

District Attorney Jaime Esparza told ABC-7 his office is not pursuing any charges against Jackson. He also said Jackson’s celebrity status in El Paso has nothing to do with it.

“When I review a case…(it’s not) whether you have that elevated status or not, it’s whether or not you actually committed a crime. In every case we try to take a really factual review of what happened and determine whether or not we think the law’s been violated,” Esparza said.

The sheriff’s office said the same thing.

“We treat, investigate, and submit each case to the DAs office in the same manner,” said Sheriff Jimmy Apodaca.

In April, Jackson was charged with hindering apprehension. Jackson was accused of giving his cousin Willie Harden, who was wanted for attempted murder in Pittsburgh, a place to stay in El Paso.

Lamar Reid, a man wanted for murder out of Philadelphia, was also found staying in Jackson’s apartment.

El Paso County Sheriff’s Officials told ABC-7 around the time of the arrest, they felt they had strong evidence against Jackson in the Harden case but not in Reid’s case.

“We took action as prescribed and required by law,” Apodaca said. “An allegation of a violation occurred and we took action…Regardless of the outcome, it does not change the fact that two homicide fugitives, apprehended by sheriff’s officials, were living in our community.”

Thursday the DA’s office told them they didn’t have enough evidence in either case to pursue charges against Jackson.

“After we turn over a case to the D.A.’s, it is beyond our control what occurs next,” Apodaca said.

Esparza said Jackson was cooperative enough with authorities that the hindering apprehension charge was not prosecutable. Esparza also said they do not plan to pursue any other charges against Jackson.

Jackson’s attorney, Dolph Quijano, said his client is glad the whole ordeal is behind him.

“He’s looking forward to getting back to school and playing basketball for the UTEP Miners,” he said.

Thursday UTEP Men’s basketball coach Tony Barbee released a statement concerning the case.

“We are glad that a resolution has been reached in Stefon’s case. I’m sure that he is looking forward to putting this behind him and getting back to focusing on school and basketball,” Barbee said.

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