Blue Ridge Parkway Shooter Pleads Guilty

HARRISONBURG, VA—A Stuarts Draft, Va. man who was charged last April with shooting two people at a scenic overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Augusta County, pleaded guilty this afternoon to charges related to the incident.

Ralph Leon Jackson, 57, pled guilty to one count of assaulting Christina Shay Floyd with the intent to commit murder, one count of using and discharging a firearm, a Harrington & Richardson 20 gauge shotgun, during and in relation to a crime of violence, one count of the premeditated murder of Timothy Phillip Davis by shooting him with a firearm and one count of using and discharging a firearm, a Harrington & Richardson 20 gauge shotgun, during and in relation to the murder of Mr. Davis. Mr. Jackson has agreed to a lifetime of federal incarceration for the murder count and a term of incarceration within the sentencing guidelines for the remaining counts.

“Mr. Jackson committed a heinous and violent crime that took the life of one young person much too early and changed the life of another forever,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “His admission of guilt in federal court today ensures he will be justly punished for his crimes by spending the rest of his life inside a federal prison.”

Jackson admitted today that on the evening of April 5, 2010, he drove to the Rock Point Overlook in Augusta County. There, he encountered two strangers, Christina Floyd and Timothy Davis. While sitting inside his car, Jackson fired a shotgun at the two friends, striking Davis and causing him to fall to the ground. He exited his vehicle and continued firing, hitting Floyd, who then fell to the ground as well.

After placing his gun down, Jackson began throwing rocks at Floyd, causing two skull fractures and a broken finger. Ultimately, Floyd was able to flee the scene and was picked up by a passing motorist and taken to safety. In addition to the head injuries, Floyd also had a collapsed lung caused from being shot in the chest. Mr. Davis died five days after the attack from injuries sustained by the shooting.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office, the Augusta County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Park Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Anthony Giorno and Ronald Huber are prosecuting the case for the United States.