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Former Barbe/McNeese Football Star In Jail For Murder [VIDEO]

KPLC reports former football player for Barbe/McNeese, Janzen Jackson, has been charged with murdering his mother’s boyfriend.

Janzen Jackson-photo by Joe Robbins via Getty Images

Lake Charles native, Janzen Jackson had all the makings of becoming the next NFL superstar.  New York Giants General Manager, Jerry Reese once said “Jackson had the talent to become a very successful football player for Big Blue.”

Following his high school career at Barbe, Jackson signed with the University of Tennessee and all was well… for a while.  However, according to The Tenessean, the former Vols safety ended up being permanently dismissed.  Tennessee Coach Derek Dooley, declined to divulge specifics on Jackson’s release, but sources told ESPN.com that Jackson had a substance-abuse problem during his time there and failed multiple drug tests.

Jackson then transferred to McNeese, where his father is defensive coordinator.  He played at MSU for one year.  Tenessee Coach Derek Dooley, declined to divulge specifics on Jackson’s release, but sources told ESPN.com that Jackson had a substance-abuse problem during his time at Tennessee and failed multiple drug tests.  Coach Dooley later released the following statement:

“Our program has devoted a tremendous amount of energy, resources, support and care in an effort to help Janzen manage his personal challenges.  I will always be there to help him as a person, but there comes a time when a player’s actions preclude him from the privilege of playing for the University of Tennessee football team.

Although I’m disappointed with this outcome, we will never compromise the long-term organizational values and goals we maintain here at Tennessee.”

Apparently those same issues followed him to New York.  He ‘needed to overcome his off-field issues”, Jerry Reese said, before he gets a shot at playing for the New York Giants.  The Giants would sign the one-time superstar prospect, but sadly his dreams of playing for the NFL came and went.  In 2012, just four months after signing with Big Blue, Janzen Jackson was released.  From there, he played in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts.

As for his legal problems, they’re as big as they get.  The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office says Jackson was arrested on September 15th and currently being held on a $1 million bond at the Twin Towers Correctional Center in California.

The Tenessean, reports Jackson has been charged with the murder of his mother’s long-time boyfriend, 43-year old Frank Herrera.  The Los Angeles Register reported last month Jackson plead not guilty to Herrera’s murder.  However, prosecutors say he is guilty and after strangling Mr. Herrera to death on Sept. 11, he put body to in the back of a car were it decomposed for three days.

Prosecutors also say that on the day he died, Herrera was supposed to drive Jackson to his great-uncle’s house.  But somewhere down the line, things went wrong and Jackson ended up strangling Herrera to death. They also submitted some pretty incriminating video surveillance footage that shows Jackson dragging a “large bundle” out of the apartment building the two were living in at the time.

The Los Angeles Register reports Jackson moved to Los Angeles to spend time with his mother.  During the preliminary court hearing in April, Jackson’s Mother testified that she felt something was wrong with her son and that he was suffering from mental issues.  In the weeks leading up to her boyfriends murder, she testified that she noticed her son talking to himself and acting strangely.  His behavior was so odd, she had him evaluated by mental health doctors to see what was going on.  But little was done and he was never diagnosed with anything.

Herrera’s brother, Hector said, “[Frank] was the nicest guy on earth.  How did this happen to someone like that?”

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