Family relieved to learn man suspected in teen’s hit-and-run death in custody

Family says Prince Walton, 17, was on way to take ACT at Riverside High School

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The family of a Jacksonville teenager, who was killed September 2021 in a hit-and-run on his way to take the ACT at Riverside High School, appears to finally be getting some answers.

More than a year after the death of Michael “Prince” Walton, 17, his family has learned a man wanted in connection to his death is in custody.

“It’s been a year and a half — 17 months,” said his mother, Renee.

Records show Horace Jackson, 33, is in the custody of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office on unrelated charges. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office confirmed to News4JAX that after Jackson is prosecuted on those charges, he will be brought to Duval County, where he awaits charges related to the hit-and-run.

The family says he was arrested following a standoff last July in Clay County.

RELATED: Classmates mourn ‘caring, compassionate’ teen killed in hit-and-run on his way to take ACT

Since the night of Walton’s death, the family has experienced a lot. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster.

“Sadness, anger,” Walton’s mother said. “It’s almost like every emotion — confused.”

Police say another driver hit the teenager’s car before abandoning their own vehicle and fleeing the scene. Walton later died at a hospital.

As his friends to family waited for an arrest, they focused on keeping his memory alive. Remembering Walton as a leader on and off the basketball court — and as someone who was a real jokester at times.

He was also a loving brother and son.

“Him just loving to laugh, to dance, and to play, you know, basketball,” Walton’s mother said of memories of her son.

According to News4JAX records, from 2018 to 2022 there were 48 hit-and-runs reported in Duval County, and only five arrests in those cases.

Through the family’s pain, his mother had this message:

“Make sure you’re being safe, to make sure you’re following all of the driving rules,” she said, holding back tears. “And if you happen to have an accident, always stop to check on the person.”

About the Author:

Renee Beninate is a Florida native and award-winning reporter who joined the News4Jax team in June 2021.