GLEN ST. MARY, Fla. – A Baker County man was charged with second-degree murder after a 36-year-old woman was struck and killed while walking along a highway south of Glen St. Mary, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
When the driver was located at a home less than a mile from the scene, Baker County deputies learned he knew and apparently targeted the victim.
Troopers said Robert Jackson Jr., 31, was driving a minivan on State Road 121 at Osteen Road at 6:15 p.m. when he struck Christina Knox, who was walking on the shoulder of the road.
"She was an outgoing person, loving person," family friend Lori Royal said. "She was a good spirited person."
According to the arrest report, a witness to the crash saw the van leave the travel lanes and go into the grass where the victim was walking. He said she waved her arms to get the driver's attention before the van hit her. The witness said the van did a U-turn on S.R. 21 and drove away.
FHP report said Knox died at the scene.
The Baker County Sheriff's Office said Jackson left the scene and returned to his home in Glen St. Mary. He parked behind the house and deputies learned from a roommate that he had been arguing with Knox before she left the house on foot.
Knox's mother told News4Jax she was walking home to get away from Jackson when she was run down. She said there was a history of domestic violence between them.
Jackson's roommate told deputies that when Jackson returned home with damage to the windshield of his van and walked back to the house, he said, "I hit her," then went to his bedroom and began to cry.
When Baker County deputies questioned Jackson, he said he suffered from schizophrenia but had been off his medication for two years.
According to the arrest report, deputies said Jackson smelled of alcohol. When asked if he had been drinking, he replied, "All day."
Royal told News4Jax that Knox told her before leaving Jackson's house that she was going to walk to her mother's home.
"She was wanting to come and be over here with her mother to get away from him," Royal said. "Her mother sent a friend to go pick her up and by the time they got there, the ambulance was already there."
Deputies arrested Jackson and took him to the Baker County jail.
News4Jax found that Jackson pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in Jacksonville in 2011 and served four years in state prison. He was arrested again in February, accused of aggravated assault with a weapon after attacking Knox's mother.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Knox's family.