Michael Jackson Gets 15 Years In Cabbie Murder

Wed. September 20, 2006 12:00 AM by Kevin Wayne

Chicago, IL - A former city Health Department employee and AIDS activist has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted of running over a cab driver with his own taxi.

Michael L. Jackson, 38, was convicted of second-degree murder last month in the violent death of cab driver Haroon Paryani back in February 2005. He could have received probation to as many as 20 years in prison.

Jackson was found guilty of the lesser charge of second-degree murder when jurors acquitted him of the more serious charge of first-degree murder and aggravated vehicular hijacking which carried a natural-life sentence.

Throughout the trial, both prosecutors and the defense painted different pictures of the deadly disagreement.

Prosecutors said Jackson, a passenger in Paryani's taxi, argued over a fare in the 500 block of West Briar Place, in the East Lakeview neighborhood near Belmont Avenue and Broadway. Jackson protested that the $8 fare should have been only $4.

Tom Breen, Jackson's defense lawyer said Paryani was the aggressor and Jackson was defending himself.

Paryani, a Pakistani immigrant who had been in the U.S. since 1971, is survived by a wife and four children.

Jackson had worked for the Department of Public Health and had been a fundraiser for HIV and AIDS treatment. He helped create the Hearts Foundation, a fundraising arm for HIV/AIDS service organizations.