The top charge against James Jackson, the 28-year-old Maryland man suspected of fatally stabbing 66-year-old Timothy Caughman with a sword last week, has been upgraded to first degree murder as an act of terrorism, over second degree murder as a hate crime. He now faces a mandatory life sentence without parole.

Jackson has also been charged with murder in the second degree as an act of terrorism, murder in the second degree as a hate crime, and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.

"James Jackson prowled the streets of New York for three days in search of a black person to assassinate in order to launch a campaign of terrorism against our Manhattan community and the values we celebrate," said Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance in a statement Monday. "Last week, with total presence of mind, he acted on his plan, randomly selecting a beloved New Yorker solely on the basis of his skin color, and stabbing him repeatedly and publicly on a Midtown street corner."

The news comes less than a week after Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams called on the DA's office to upgrade Jackson's charges.

"This case should establish a new standard," Adams told Gothamist last week. "Terrorism is not only when someone comes from overseas. It is also domestic born, and we can't ignore it."

Jackson took a Bolt bus to New York City last Friday, with the express purpose of targeting black men in a major media capital, according to the NYPD. An army veteran who served for three years in the early aughts, including a tour in Afghanistan, Jackson had allegedly harbored a hatred of black men for nearly a decade.

He allegedly killed Caughman on a Hell's Kitchen sidewalk shortly before 11:30 p.m. last Monday, stabbing him multiple times with a mini-sword that he later dumped in a Washington Square Park trashcan.

A criminal complaint released Thursday includes the substance of an interview conducted by detectives last week. In it, Jackson admitted to killing Caughman as "practice" en route to Times Square to kill more black men.

Jackson also told detectives that he was "angered by black men mixing with white women," according to the complaint. He doubled down on the sentiment in an interview from Rikers Island with the Daily News. Jackson told the tabloid he imagined his killings would deter white women from being in relationships with black men: "'Well, if that guy feels so strongly about it, maybe I shouldn't do it,'" he extrapolated.

Jackson also told the Daily News that he regretted killing an older man, following up with an explanation steeped in racism.

"I didn't know he was elderly," Jackson told the tabloid, adding that he would have preferred to kill "a young thug" or "a successful older black man with blonds ... people you see in Midtown. These younger guys that put white girls on the wrong path."

Jackson was charged last Thursday with murder in the second degree as a hate crime. Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon described the act as "most likely an act of terrorism" at the time, though the top charge did not initially reflect this.

In the days since Caughman's death, activists and politicians have criticized the New York Post and Daily News for including Caughman's arrest record in its early coverage of the murder. The Daily News later removed Caughman's arrest history, though the Post left it up, alongside descriptions of the "dapper" killer.

A moving New York Times profile describes Caughman as a kind man with wide-ranging interests: from religion and philosophy, to celebrity selfies.

Attorney Sam Talkin, who is representing Jackson, declined to comment on the new charges.

"If the facts are anything near what the allegations are, then we are going to address the obvious psychological issues that are present in this case," Talkin told reporters after the initial charges were announced.