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San Francisco graffiti-cleaner’s killer finally convicted

District Attorney Brooke Jenkins | Morgan Ellis/The Standard

A 33-year-old man who fatally shot a city worker was convicted of first-degree murder, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins announced Tuesday in a press release.

Michael Higginbotham's conviction carried two enhancements, including the personal use of a firearm and firing from a vehicle.

Higginbotham shot Jermaine Jackson Jr. multiple times from his vehicle at approximately 8 a.m. Nov. 30, 2016, before driving away, according to prosecutors. Jackson was painting over graffiti on an electrical box in Potrero Hill as part of his job with the San Francisco Department of Public Works at the time he was shot.

A composite image of friends and family members mourning Jermaine Jackson, Jr. (left) at the site of where he was shot and killed in San Francisco on Nov. 30, 2016 and a portrait of Jermaine Jackson Jr. (right). | Courtesy Former KGO-TV/ABC7 News Reporter Wayne Freedman

Higginbotham has been in custody since his arrest in late 2016.

“After years of delays, our team earned a conviction ensuring that Mr. Higginbotham will finally face consequences for this callous murder,” Jenkins said in the press release.

Dane Reinstedt, who prosecuted the case against Higginbotham, thanked the jury following the conviction.

"Their verdict holds Mr. Higginbotham accountable for the murder of Jermaine Jackson Jr. and I hope that this verdict also brings some sense of justice to his family after these many years," Reinstedt said.

At the time of his killing, Jackson was working as an apprentice with the public works department and trying to come clean from previous run-ins with gangs. He would have graduated from the program in 2017.

Higginbotham had a criminal history before the killing, including being charged with attempting to rob an Internal Revenue Service agent in 2010.

Sentencing will be determined at a future court date, which has not yet been set. Higginbotham faces life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to the DA's office.

Garrett Leahy can be reached at

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