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Indiana Man Betrayed and Murdered by Close Friend He Considered "a Big Sister"
It took police more than a year to make arrests in the murder of Alex Jackson, after they could find no obvious motive for his death.
An Indiana man was betrayed by someone he considered to be a true friend — and he paid for it with his life.
Britney Overton and Justin Blake are currently serving time in prison for the murder of Alex Jackson, and the complicated relationship between Overton and Blake was at the center of the police investigation.
“Obviously, they were intimate,” Steve Sonnega, the Morgan County prosecutor, said on Snapped: Killer Couples, airing Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen. “They found some attraction to each other. I think it became a bond of what they did together that night. And then a bond of how they thought they could get away with it.”
Alex Jackson's Body Discovered
A woman called 911 around 3 p.m. on Sept. 13, 2019, and said she’d discovered a decomposing body in a ditch near her property, about 30 miles south of Indianapolis, after smelling something for days.
Morgan County Sheriff’s Office deputies found the body in such late stages of decomposition, they couldn’t even tell if it was male or female. The body had a gunshot wound to the head. There was no phone, no identification, and no wallet.
The 911 caller also told deputies she’d heard several gunshots early in the morning of Sept. 9, but assumed it was hunters or target practice.
A forensic pathologist was unable to pinpoint the time of death, but fingerprints from the body identified it as belonging to 23-year-old Alexander Jackson.
When deputies spoke to Jackson’s family, they learned his family was concerned he’d been hanging out with the wrong crowd before his death.
Investigators tracked down a person named “Chad” who’d made a Facebook post alleging Jackson stole money from him. “Chad” told deputies Jackson regularly hung out with someone named Britney Overton.
Alex Jackson's Relationship with Britney Overton
“Alex really trusted Britney, and looked at her as maybe a big sister,” Sonnega said. “She was older, and he looked up to her for guidance — protection. Stability. Britney’s name came up and that eventually led the investigators to pay a visit on Britney.”
When deputies talked to Overton, she admitted she’d been friends with Jackson for about a year. She said the last time she’d seen him was the night of Sept. 8, 2019 when he dropped her off at her home, and claimed Jackson told her he was going to meet up with a man from the Grindr dating app.
Jackson’s car, a rental at that time, was also missing. But days later, Indianapolis police found the wrecked and abandoned vehicle.
Break in Alex Jackson Case
Five weeks after Jackson’s murder, deputies finally got a helpful tip. A woman called and said her grandson told her that he’d shot someone named “Alex,” and showed her an article from a local news station about Alex Jackson’s death.
“She had asked him why, and he made a comment that he thought that this person was gonna try and hurt him,” Det. Sgt. Mark Anderson from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office said on Snapped: Killer Couples. “She gave me the name of [her grandson] Justin Blake.”
The 18-year-old had been in prison as a juvenile and was currently in jail for having stolen a van and gun.
When deputies spoke to him, he denied killing Jackson, and said he’d only met him twice, through his girlfriend, Britney Overton. He admitted to being in the car with Overton and Jackson on the night of Sept. 8, but repeated Overton’s statement that Jackson left them to meet a date.
“I think in looking at some of the social media, she had a bad boy crush on him,” Sonnega said of Overton and Blake’s relationship. “There was some comment that all they been through, they had a bond, like a 'band of brothers,' 'thick as thieves' type bond.”
Law enforcement started to piece together several damning pieces of evidence against Overton. Her Facebook records showed she’d talked to people about getting a gun in the days before the murder. She unfriended Alex Jackson at 4:45 a.m. the morning of Sept. 9, just minutes after deputies believed Jackson was killed. Her cell phone records put her in the area that the body was found at 4:31 a.m. on Sept. 9. A spare pair of keys found in Jackson’s rental car had fingerprints matching those of Overton. Blake’s fingerprints were also a match for the car radio.
“The DNA, the phone records, all kind of put Justin there, Britney there,” Sonnega said. “There didn’t seem to be any obvious motive.”
On Oct. 3, 2020, more than a year after Jackson’s murder, Overton and Blake were arrested.
Britney Overton Confesses to Alex Jackson's Murder
Overton at first repeated the same story to law enforcement as before about the night of Sept. 8, 2019, but then added a new detail.
“They get Alex to contact a guy from Grindr, and they set up a date to meet him, and they were going to rob him,” Anderson said.
Overton claimed she sat in the car while Jackson and Blake went to the door.
“Britney stated that when they met the guy, Justin started pistol whipping him,” Anderson said. “Britney said that Alex didn’t expect them to beat him up and be that violent.”
Overton told law enforcement after the robbery, the three drove around, but Jackson was upset about what happened.
“There was a concern that Alex would snitch on them,” Sonnega said.
Overton then told law enforcement, as they were driving, Blake told them to stop the car and held a gun to her head. When she stopped, she alleged Blake told Jackson, “It’s time,” and pulled him out of the car.
“Justin gets out with the gun in his hand, and she proceeds to look straight ahead and hears several gunshots,” Anderson said. “And then Justin gets in the front seat of the car, he had the gun in his hand, and Alex’s cell phone. And Justin drives her, drops her off, and says ‘Don’t say anything to anybody or you’re gonna die.’"
Blake and Overton were charged with Alex Jackson’s murder.
“I didn’t know anything about Britney, but I just needed whoever was responsible to pay for it,” Lalonna Jackson, Alex’s mother, said on Snapped: Killer Couples. “They took my baby. For no reason.”
Blake went on trial in February 2022, where a jury found him guilty. He was sentenced to 61 years in prison, and will be eligible for parole in 2066 at the age of 66.
“I still cannot wrap my mind around how you could be so close to somebody like Alex and do something so horrific,” Gabrielle Woods, a friend of Alex, said on Snapped: Killer Couples. “I just will never understand why.”
Overton took a plea deal in May 2022, and was credited for testifying at Blake’s trial. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and will be eligible for parole in 2033, at the age of 39.
“Alex fell in with the wrong crowd,” Peter Blanchard, an Indianapolis journalist, said on Snapped: Killer Couples. “He certainly wasn’t hardened like Britney and Justin. Ultimately, Alex was caught up in their crimes, and as soon as he showed a sign of weakness, they punished him for that to protect themselves.”