Riverside Police Department
Press Release

 

For Immediate Release

Date February 5, 2003
Contact Sergeant Steve Johnson
Phone (909) 320-8005
Fax (909) 320-8043

 

La Sierra University Professor Murder Suspect Arrested

Riverside, Ca-  A 22 year-old Redlands man was arrested last night in connection with the January 2, 2003 murder of Brian Jacques. Professor Jacques was shot while lying in his bed. His wife was in the bedroom with him at the time of the shooting.

On December 7, 2003 the Jacques’ reported to Riverside Police that a suspicious man had come to their home the previous day. The man told them he was “impressed” to come to their home, but provided no further explanation. They did not know the man and they became concerned for their safety. During the contact, he told them his name was John Luther. The Jacques asked him to leave and he complied.

Shortly before 7:00 p.m. on January 2, 2003 Professor Jacques was watching television in his bed with his wife nearby. An unknown person entered their property and from outside a closed bedroom window fired a handgun at Professor Jacques. He sustained one gunshot wound to his chest. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. A neighbor recalled seeing a dark colored compact vehicle entering the property prior to hearing gunshots. The neighbor then saw the vehicle leave the property.

During his investigation, Detective Dave Smith discovered that Johnathan Ross Luther (Luther) of Redlands had relatives living near the Jacques residence. Luther was wanted by the Redlands Police Department in connection with two cases where he assaulted females with a firearm. He drove a dark colored Honda automobile. Redlands Police Department investigators obtained two Felony Arrest Warrants for Luther and a Search Warrant for his home.

On Tuesday February 4, 2003, Redlands Police Department detectives and Riverside Police Department detectives arrested Luther at his home in the 900 block of Elise Drive in Redlands. He lived there with his mother. During the search of the home they located a handgun.

Later in the night, Riverside Police detectives interviewed Luther. He said he went to the Jacques home in December because something compelled him to do so. He could not provide any further explanation, and said he felt embarrassed as he spoke to them because he didn’t know why he was there. Again on January 2, 2003, he was compelled to go to the Jacques residence. He said he felt Professor Jacques and the house were evil. He described to investigators how he pointed a semi-automatic handgun at Professor Jacques and fired it through the closed window blinds. He said he left in his black Honda Accord. Investigators have impounded his vehicle.


 

Residential Burglary at the Jacques Home

On January 9, 2003 relatives discovered the Jacques family home had been burglarized. Mrs. Jacques had not been staying there because of the recent killing of her husband. A significant amount of personal property was taken from the residence. Riverside Police detectives responded to the home and processed it for any possible evidence.

On January 30, 2003 investigators were notified that several latent fingerprints recovered from the home were matched to 32 year-old William Corbin Jr. (Corbin). He was on parole for theft related charges, and parole records indicated he was living in Riverside. The following day, his parole agent notified investigators that Corbin had been arrested the previous night in Banning.

Investigators also learned Corbin had an apartment in Hemet and had access to a storage building in Riverside. They obtained Search Warrants for each of the three locations. They recovered most of the property stolen from the Jacques residence. Their investigation revealed that 32 year-old John Burke (Burke) of Mira Loma assisted Corbin during the burglary. He was on parole for narcotics related charges. He was later arrested.

At this time, it does not appear that Corbin and Burke were connected to the murder of Professor Jacques.