BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A Georgia refugee who appeared on America’s Most Wanted earlier this month was arrested Monday in Alabama, about 150 miles away.
Maurice Alexander Nesbitt, 42, of Atlanta, was arrested from a house on the 1200 block of 10th Avenue North in Birmingham, according to the US Marshals Service. Nesbitt was convicted of the murder of his former girlfriend, 34-year-old Rashawn Jackson, in 2017.
The fugitive, described by a prosecutor as a “lousy” wannabe rapper who is an “unemployed drug dealer who lives on women,” was caught in America’s Most Wanted a week after it was published.
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The TV show celebrated the capture on Tuesday morning.
“We can mark our catch count up to 1,190,” the producers wrote in a tweet. “Maurice Nesbitt marks the fourth arrest in just five episodes.”
The last revival of the long-running show premiered in March. The episode with Nesbitt was the season finale.
Journalist Elizabeth Vargas, who hosted the resuscitation, also tweeted about the arrest.
“We still have a catch!” Exclaimed Vargas. “Just days after we aired our story about convicted murderer Maurice Nesbitt, a tip led to his arrest. “Thank you to our viewers for helping bring justice to another grieving family!”
A Marshals Service press release indicated that Metro Alabama crime stoppers had received a tip on where to find Nesbitt. Agents from the agency’s Gulf Coast Regional Task Force set up surveillance at home.
“After further investigation, MPs and Task Force officials found there were two men in the residence, one of whom matched Nesbitt’s description,” the press release said. “The suspect identified himself as ‘Ricardo’.
“After observing the individual’s tattoos, MPs questioned the suspect’s identity and he then admitted to being Maurice Nesbitt.”
Deputy US Marshal Cliff LaBarge praised the tipster’s contribution, who turned to Crime Stoppers.
“Crime Stoppers is a huge win for us and the entire law enforcement community,” LaBarge told AL.com in Birmingham. “It gives the citizens of Birmingham and the surrounding metropolitan area an opportunity to rid their neighborhoods of crime and make their communities safer.”
Nesbitt, an aspiring rapper by the name of “Mega Ruckus,” was in custody in September 2017 when he was tried for Jackson’s May 27, 2014 murder. Jackson was shot dead in the apartment she shared with her mother and sister.
Authorities said on the last day of the trial that Nesbitt cut off his ankle monitor and fled. It took several hours for the police to find out that he was gone.
Below is Nesbitt’s 3D avatar that features his distinctive tattoo.
Watch the April 12th episode of America’s Most Wanted here or stream it on Fox Now or Tubi. The segment with Nesbitt starts at 3:20 a.m.
Even in his absence, the jury convicted Nesbitt of criminal murder, aggravated assault with a lethal weapon, and possession of a firearm while committing a crime. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
In Pursuit with John Walsh, which Nesbitt profiled in January 2019, reported that Jackson’s family was concerned about their safety after meeting Nesbitt in 2009. Her sister, LaToya Jackson, told the program’s producers that his attitude towards women can be seen in his rap videos.
Like Griffin, Atlanta Police Chief Investigator Eugene Johnson had no good things to say about Nesbitt’s prospects as a rapper.
“He was a local who made lackluster rap music,” said Johnson. “He released what I like to call $ 2 rap videos. Made pretty cheap. “
Seleta Griffin, a prosecutor for Fulton County, told the TV show that Nesbitt was projecting an image of an aspiring rapper who was making a name for himself. That’s not the truth about him, she said.
“And Rashawn fell victim to this,” said Griffin. “She fell right into his trap.”
Check out one of Nesbitt’s rap videos below. Editor’s note: The video contains explicit language.
Griffin also spoke to America’s Most Wanted earlier this month. She said Jackson’s sister and mother, Antoinette Jackson, saw the bruises and scars Rashawn Jackson often had thanks to Nesbitt, who controlled her money and her ability to communicate with others.
Nesbitt refused to allow his girlfriend a cell phone.
In one case, Griffin said, Nesbitt got so angry that Jackson had a phone that he forced her to toss it out of the car window. Then he hit her head on the dashboard.
Like many victims of domestic violence, Jackson stayed with him long. After about six years she finally had the courage to leave.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, this is one of the most dangerous times for a victim.
Jackson moved to the Venetian Hills Apartments in southwest Atlanta with her mother and sister. She was dead about a month later.
Antoinette Jackson recalled hearing a loud “pop” at around 3am on the day of the shooting.
“When she went downstairs, she heard a car drive away and found her daughter lying on the floor between a closet and a chair,” says “In Pursuit”.
She didn’t realize what had happened until she saw the blood. Rashawn Jackson had been shot in the head.
The “In Pursuit” episode of Nesbitt’s Fall is available below from Discovery Communications. The show can also be streamed on ID Go.
Antoinette Jackson held her daughter while LaToya Jackson called 911.
“What is the status of your emergency?” a dispatcher asked about audio that was received from both television broadcasts.
“My sister was shot,” LaToya Jackson replied, crying. “I need an ambulance.”
The dispatcher asked if Rashawn Jackson was awake. She was not.
“OK. Is she breathing?” Asked the dispatcher.
“No,” said LaToya Jackson.
WSB-TV in Atlanta reported that LaToya Jackson cried on the stand in 2017 when she remembered holding her sister’s hand while they waited for the ambulance.
“After a while, the grip on her hand, she just let go,” Jackson testified. “I knew she was gone.”
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Authorities quickly focused on Nesbitt as a suspect after a witness recalled seeing his car, a white 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix, at the scene. Security footage showed his car pulling into the apartment complex’s parking lot at 2:41 a.m. that morning.
According to the America’s Most Wanted segment, Nesbitt persuaded Jackson to let him in, which she did quietly. He and Jackson spent about 10 minutes together before their mother heard the shot.
There is evidence that Jackson may have been surprised as their family did not hear any arguments and there was no sign of a fight.
When Jackson’s sister called for help, Nesbitt was gone. He was seen on surveillance videos casually walking back to his car and driving away.
WSB-TV reported that Nesbitt went into hiding after the shooting. The police found him two months later and took him into custody.
A judge later loaned Nesbitt. Check out the portion of the segment on Nesbitt’s pre-trial disclosure below.
Legal analyst Yodit Tewolde told America’s Most Wanted host Vargas that Nesbitt’s attorney alleged his client had cancer when he applied for a loan. He never had to prove his health to the court.
During the segment, Tewolde pointed out that Nesbitt, who speaks Spanish, may have been hiding in Florida or Mexico City because his family lives in both locations. However, some investigators believed he stayed near the Atlanta area to stay in familiar surroundings. They suspected that he would live with a woman he “got away with,” Tewolde said.
It was not immediately clear who Nesbitt was staying with in Birmingham or whether they would bring charges. He stayed in Jefferson County Jail Tuesday awaiting extradition.