If David Hamilton ever sees the outside of a prison, it will not be for at least 30 years. Hamilton, 28, of the Portsmouth area, was convicted of aggravated murder in the death of 20-year-old Jonathon Jackson of Wheelersburg on Feb. 21 of this year. The jury, which received the case at 9:02 a.m. Friday, returned shortly after 12:30 p.m. with verdicts on seven charges. Judge William T. Marshall read the verdicts, six of which were guilty. Hamilton was found not guilty on count one of aggravated murder, which specified murder with prior calculation and design. He was found guilty of count two of aggravated murder, specifying causing death while in the commission of an aggravated burglary. Hamilton was found guilty of murder, aggravated burglary, felonious assault, tampering with evidence and violation of a protection order. He was sentenced to life without parole for at least 30 years on the aggravated murder conviction, with the murder, and the felonious assault conviction merged into the life sentence. Hamilton was sentenced to 10 years for the aggravated burglary conviction, five years for tampering with evidence and six months for the violation of a protection order conviction. All sentences will run concurrently, and the clock began ticking on the time he will serve when he was placed in jail in February of this year. Hamilton, who had claimed self defense, addressed the court after the verdicts were read, but before sentencing, and began to cry, saying, I'm the only person who knows what happened in that room that night. I'm the only credible witness. He then apologized to the victim's family. Jackson's mother, Bobbie Potter, stood at a podium, faced Hamilton and spoke directly to him as she described the birth and the life of the victim. He was a special gift from God given to me, Potter told Hamilton. He gave my life purpose. A poignant moment came when Potter said, My life was forever changed, and My life will never be whole again. After Potter spoke, Marshall delivered the sentence, thanked and dismissed the jury, and Hamilton was led away. The shocking part I felt was the brutality of the crime, the savage nature of the crime, Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn told the Portsmouth Daily Times in the court room. Eleven stab wounds, three of them in the back, several in the side. This boy suffered horrible injuries before he died. The judge and the jury had already heard the testimony over the last four days, but the testimony on that was how he was chased out of the apartment. It was just shocking. Kuhn said what made the case different from many others like it was that the victims are usually involved with the perpetrator, but that was not the case this time. He walked into a person's apartment that he had known for two days, and her jealous boyfriend started stabbing him, Kuhn said. And that's the shocking nature of this. The trial began Monday morning with jury selection, which took longer than normal, causing a delay in the actual start of testimony. Kuhn was assisted by Assistant Scioto County Prosecutor Danielle Parker. Hamilton was represented by Rick Faulkner.
Frank Lewis may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.