Mother speaks to son just hours before his death in Chester County


Tondra Whitley is living through a mother’s worst fear.

“Right now I can’t feel anything. I’m numb. It just hasn’t hit me yet,” Whitley said. “All I know is he was stabbed four times in the chest, that’s all I know – by a butcher knife.”

Her son, 33 year-old Michael Jackson of Chester, South Carolina was a father of three who went to work everyday at a local landscaping company. Jackson was the victim in a fatal stabbing at a home on Ball Park Drive in Chester Friday.

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Hap Hendricks, who worked with Jackson, is taking it hard.

Hendricks told WBTV that his friend got into an argument with Michael Roberts. Roberts is now facing murder charges in this stabbing.

“From my understanding that fellow, Mr. Roberts, was drinking. He was kind of racist – the N word was passed around a lot, and MJ tried to tell him to watch his mouth,” Hendricks said. “I don’t know where it went from there.”

Longtime residents along Ball Park Drive describe the neighborhood as peaceful. There’s even a neighborhood watch sign just down the block from the crime scene.

However, what happened next door to Ray Bell’s home is far from ordinary. “We’ve had trouble over here every now and again, but nothing this serious,” Bell said.

Coping is tough for Whitley, who will now hold on to one memory very close.

“The last thing he said to me, when I talked to him yesterday, is I love you mom, and that’s the last words I heard out of his mouth.”

Investigators have not released a motive in the county’s first homicide since 2015. Roberts is currently being held in the Chester County Detention Center.

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