UPDATE: U.S. Marshals Nab "In Pursuit with John Walsh" Convicted Killer In Alabama
The U.S. Marshals closed in on Maurice Nesbitt in Birmingham, Alabama. The arrest makes the 25th fugitive featured and captured from "In Pursuit with John Walsh."
On Monday, April 19, 2021, the U.S. Marshals said they arrested fugitive Maurice Nesbitt. The convicted killer went on the run in 2017 during the trial for killing his girlfriend Rashawn Jackson after cutting off his ankle monitor. Although Nesbitt didn't return to court, the jury returned their verdict: guilty.
In January 2019, Nesbitt was profiled on season one of "In Pursuit with John Walsh" and has been featured on the "In Pursuit with John Walsh" Facebook page a number of times after the airing, including a post on Sunday, April 11, 2021.
A little over 24 hours later, on April 12, a brave, anonymous tipster reached out directly to the "In Pursuit" hotline with detailed information about the case. The tipster placed Nesbitt at a housing location in Birmingham, Alabama, giving a specific address.
U.S. Marshals and local authorities in Alabama worked the lead and in the early hours of April 19, 2021, Nesbitt was booked at the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Alabama and then extradited to Fulton County, Georgia on April 22, 2021.
[Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office]
Host and Executive Producer John Walsh said, “Thanks to a direct tip from a brave tipster into the IN PURSUIT hotline and our great partners at the U.S. Marshals, a convicted murderer is now off the streets. Walsh adds, "When I make a promise to you that we’re listening, I mean it. Our lines are always open, and I promise, you can always remain anonymous. So, don’t hesitate. If you know something – or think you know something – make that call.”
The first two seasons are available to view on discovery+. The third season of "In Pursuit with John Walsh" is coming soon.
Continue engaging with the show using the #TeamInPursuit hashtag on social media and join the IN PURSUIT WITH JOHN WALSH Facebook page, and connect on Instagram @InvestigationDiscovery or Twitter @DiscoveryID.
If you know where any of the fugitives or missing children are, please contact the John Walsh hotline 24/7 by texting: 833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE)
Original Article 1/30/19:
ATLANTA, GA — Rashawn Jackson was young and had dreams for her future. In 2009, she thought she met the man she would call her partner for life, Maurice “Mega Ruckus” Nesbitt.
Nesbitt seemed liked he was on his way to becoming a successful rapper by producing videos in Atlanta and making music. This side of him was attractive to Jackson. But, although she was into Nesbitt, her family was not.
Jackson’s sister LaToya Jackson tells In Pursuit, “I’ve seen one of the videos. His lyrics was like – saying nasty things about women, the cussing and the violence, and showing off guns.” Many knew his aspirational hip-hop life was a disguise for someone who was insecure and violent.
Atlanta Police Department’s lead detective Eugene Johnson said this about Nesbitt’s career: “He was a local guy that produced lackluster rap music. He went by the persona of ‘Mega Ruckus.’ He put out what I like to call two-dollar rap videos. Pretty cheaply made.”
SECOND-RATE RAPPER, FIRST-RATE TRAP
Chief Senior Assistant District Attorney Seleta Griffin in Fulton County tells In Pursuit, “He liked to put on the appearance that he was an up-and-coming rapper. But that was just not the case. This was an appearance that he wanted to make himself seem more important and what he used to try to impress females. And Rashawn fell prey to this. She fell right into his trap.”
Rashawn’s mother, Antoinette Jackson, remembers Nesbitt not as calm and caring but, “Always yelling and hollering and thinks somebody was supposed to be scared of him.”
Only one short month into their courtship, friends say Jackson began pulling away from her family and loved ones. Latoya reveals,“She used to be so bubbly, and then after a while, she just – it’s like the smile was gone. She was always sad and depressed. Always down.” There were instances when Antoinette said her daughter came home with bruises and scars and, like many domestic violence victims, they are often afraid and ashamed to tell others what was really happening. This was the case with Rashawn. Antoinette said her daughter would claim she’d fallen, but her motherly instincts told her something else. She knew something terrible was going on behind closed doors.
Tanisha Truitt, Jackson’s good friend, tells remembers a specific day when Nesbitt took his violence out from behind the curtain. Truitt said she was in the car with the couple when things took a terrible turn. Nesbitt pulled the vehicle into a gas station – and he had a group of women waiting for his girlfriend. They made her get out of the car and began to beat her down. Truitt said she tried to get out to help, but she was being held down by one of Nesbitt’s friends. After the beating, the police were not called.
THE ABUSE PROGRESSES
As the years progressed, and loved ones would find out about the acts of domestic violence against Jackson, she would always protect her boyfriend. At the end of the day, she didn’t want anyone to think negatively of him. The violence wasn’t just physical; it was emotional, mental, and financial, too. Detective Eugene Johnson said, “One of the things he would do is always tell her that, you know, they were going to move in together into the same apartment. So, she started saving her money, enough money to get an apartment that they would share together. Then she would give the money over to Nesbitt.” Johnson goes on to say moving in would never happen — there was always an excuse — and Jackson was left working to build up another deposit for another place. “Nesbitt was basically just using her as a source of income,” Johnson adds.
WHY SHE STAYED
Callahan Walsh interviewed Shenna Morris with the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence to give background on why Jackson stayed in this relationship for so many years. Morris says, “So what we see in the Shawn Jackson case is actually not uncommon. You know, this was someone that she cared deeply about. She had six years worth of history with this person, and so it’s not easy for a person to just leave when we talk about the dynamics of domestic violence.”
Morris adds, “I really want to validate that it can be very difficult for people to understand why Shawn may have stayed in this relationship, but at the same time, we want to be very careful that we don’t blame Shawn for staying.”
MAKING HER MOVE
Eventually, Jackson had had enough and made the final decision to escape Nesbitt’s clutches. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says one of the most dangerous times for a victim is when they finally make the decision to leave — this was no different for Jackson.
She moved in with her mom and sister in their apartment. Things appeared to be quiet, that is, until the early morning hours of May 27, 2014. Antoinette remembers hearing a loud noise around 3 A.M. She says specifically she heard a “pop.” When she went downstairs, she heard a car pulling away and found her daughter lying on the ground between a closet and a chair. At first, she wasn’t sure what happened, until she saw the blood.
Jackson had been executed – shot in the head. It’s likely she had no idea who shot her or what happened, because investigators say there was no sign of a struggle.
LaToya immediately called 911:
LATOYA: Yes, I need a – I need an ambulance, please. My sister’s been shot.
OPERATOR: Okay, is she awake?
LATOYA: No, she’s been shot. She’s –
OPERATOR: Okay. So, you’re saying she’s unconscious?
OPERATOR: Okay. Is she breathing?
“I held her. I was trying to see if she had a heartbeat when I held her,” Jackson’s mom remembers. "And before we knew it, there was an ambulance that came, and they took us out of the room. Asked why you wasn’t helping, they said she was gone. But nothing else they could do. She was already gone.”
Police had responded very quickly, and their investigation uncovered a witness who was able to identify Nesbitt’s 2008 white Pontiac Grand Prix. Surveillance shows the car arriving at 2:41 A.M. Nesbitt was bold enough to park right in front of the door to the apartment. Authorities believe he got out of the vehicle, walked toward the front, and then is seen getting back into the car and driving away.
THE LONG ROAD TO JUSTICE
Two months after the murder, it seemed justice would be served. Nesbitt was arrested and charged for killing Rashawn Jackson. In Georgia, Nesbitt was required to be indicted within 90 days of the arrest, but unfortunately this didn’t happen.
Investigators struggled to gather enough evidence before meeting the deadline. Nesbitt was unfortunately released on bond.
RELEASED ON BOND, NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE
Although Nesbitt had a get-out-of-jail-free card, he was still required to wear an ankle monitor. But the monitor didn’t stop him from running. Police say Nesbitt never appeared for his plea hearing. The U.S. Marshals tackled the case and tracked him down, and he was arrested yet again.
Once and for all, the case looked like it was moving forward, and Nesbitt would be secure behind bars. This was until a judge released him yet again because his attorney said he had cancer and needed treatments. Court procedure does not require a defendant to prove he’s sick, so, for a second time, Nesbitt walked out of jail.
NESBITT ON TRIAL
Nesbitt was out on bond from December 2016 until his trial in September 2017. Surprisingly, he showed up for the first few days of the murder trial, but on the very last day, he was nowhere to be found. The verdict was supposed to be read, and Nesbitt was a no-show.
Assistant D.A. Griffin said, “It was discovered that he had cut his ankle monitor and had been off the GPS tracking for about five or six hours.”
Reports say on that day, Nesbitt was found guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He was sentenced to life plus five years for killing Rashawn Jackson.
Investigators know he took off his monitor device and fled on Interstate 75. Authorities believe it’s possible he’s embedded himself in a gang and could be surviving through illegal activities. Nesbitt speaks Spanish as his mother is from Mexico.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard told Callahan Walsh,“He has simply thumbed his nose at our criminal-justice system. It’s insulting that this guy who spent so much time manipulating their loved one can now just walk away with no responsibility. We want justice for the family.”
Howard adds, “In fact, as you know, someone who is listening to the show might very well be that woman who believes he’s a great guy. But, when she finally decides to get away from him, then that’s the time that he is the most violent. And that’s the time he might kill."
TRAITS & CHARACTERISTICS:
- Weight: 225 to 250 pounds
- Height: 6 feet 2 inches tall
- Sex: Male
- Race: Black
- Hair: Black
- Eyes: Brown
- Age: 40
- Date of birth: August 25, 1978
- Tattoos: upper left arm and right forearm
- Could have cancer and could be seeking treatment
- Known to possibly be involved in drug sales and alleged sex-trafficking activity
- Known to wear his hair in a ponytail
- Could grow a beard
- Known to have a very loud voice
- Speaks Spanish
- In the past, employed as an art handler/mover
- Wants to be a rapper
- Could be hiding among a gang in Mexico or California
Read more: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fulton County Sheriff