Widow of man killed by former co-worker says life sentence offers healing

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Widow of man killed says life sentence offers healing, Tracy Clemons reports. (KTRK)

More than a year after a workplace shooting claimed the life of an operations manager for Val-Fit Inc. in northeast Houston, his killer was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Speaking publicly for the first time since 50-year-old Rodney Jackson was sentenced, Jason Yanko's widow says she and her children's life was ripped apart just as they were getting it together.

The Yankos adopted three siblings in October 2014. After spending time back and forth between Atlanta and Houston -- spending more time running the facility in Houston than in Atlanta -- the family decided to move here last June.

"The kids were starting to feel stability and consistency and starting to feel like there was hope in humanity and that they could have a forever family," said Michelle Yanko.

Two days after they moved into their Kingwood home, Rodney Jackson shot and killed Jason just moments after getting fired for continuous attendance issues.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Police say man fatally shot former co-worker after being laid off

"According to the medical examiner, there were actually 29 entry wounds. My husband got shot 29 times," she tells us.

A level of brutality Michelle says she hasn't been able to forgive.

Jackson was later caught in West Texas. This week, a jury sentenced him to life in prison.

"It doesn't make anything better, but it feels like maybe we can start to heal a little bit. The healing process can move forward. At least we know this monster isn't going to be out on the streets," she said.

The healing process is a long one for Michelle and her children. She's just glad justice was served.

"I think it's important for people to know that our justice system really can work and that in this case, justice was served," she added.

Jackson's defense attorney for the trial confirms Jackson has appealed.

Related Topics:
workplace shootingshootingHouston
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