Battling petitions: Movement to support Marine gains considerable ground
RICHLAND CO.—The matter of accused murderer Brandon L. Jenkins is revving up in and around Richland County….to the point that it’s going viral online.
Jenkins, 35, is accused of shooting and killing local thug Michael Scott Earp, 23, a punk MMA fighter who, along with his brother Flavius and badass buddy Chris Arteberry, were attacking Jenkins in his truck on the parking lot of the Olney Super 8 motel in the early morning hours of November 20 when Scott Earp was fatally shot. Jenkins was initially charged with First-Degree Murder with intent; however, a December 14 Richland County grand jury (whose names we recently obtained through Freedom of Information Act) didn’t quite see it as “with intent” and returned a true bill of indictment that was no less ridiculous in its assertion of First-Degree Murder “knowing his actions created a strong probability of injury or death.” Of course, the grand jury might have returned such an indictment knowing that no jury in their right mind would convict on such a matter…which might also be why they issued three lesser indictments regarding the firing of a weapon inside Jenkins’ vehicle, and the charge that Jenkins also shot, but only grazed, Arteberry.
Organizers at the ground level in Houston, Texas, where Jenkins, a Marine and directional oil well driller, is from, have not only developed an online fundraiser for Jenkins’ family, legal expenses and—if the funds get big enough—bond (set ridiculously high at $350,000 cash), but they’ve also begun an online petition that’s REALLY getting a lot of attention.
The fundraiser was pointed out to us Monday; thus far it’s gained almost $400 with online donations, some from people we are very familiar with (including US). The petition was pointed out to us the next day, and it has exploded: when we first looked at it, there were about 40-some sigs; as of this writing (just a few days after it was established), it’s now up to 318…about 300 signatures more than the online petition that presumably is going to be sent to someone “in charge” (no one stated, specifically) requesting that Jenkins’ Constitutional rights be withheld from him (“Do not allow this man to claim self-defense”…good Lord….like someone can stop a defendant from entering a particular kind of plea), a petition that was begun by the Earp supporters.
The Jenkins petitions have been “vetted” by our staff, as we have been asked over the past couple of days. We know one of the creators personally—Rene Rodriguez (that’s his pic on the donation website with his wife Emely Galvez). We were able to meet with Rodriguez early on after Jenkins’ confinement and had a lengthy conversation with him, as well as some others in Jenkins’ circle. A real estate agent, Rodriguez and the whole crew we met that day are all professional, courteous, mature people—in short, exactly the opposite of the pugilistic, frenetic, most often drunken and brawling breeders that represent the Earps. They have held local fundraisers for Jenkins, one big one in Houston drawing 300-400 people in late 2011, and are continuing their efforts for this man who is repeatedly described as a responsible and devoted father, husband, friend and employee (again, everything Scott Earp was not). They describe what happened that night as a simple matter of self-defense—Jenkins was being trapped in the cab of his truck, prevented from getting to the steering wheel where he could potentially drive away, and saw no option but to draw a weapon (that he is allowed to have as a Texan; how Illinois laws apply is immaterial, as he hasn’t been charged with not having an Illinois FOID or carrying incorrectly) and attempt to defend himself, and when all three began coming into the cab, he fired. Very clearly self-defense, but that wasn’t what was charged…..because the one that ended up dead is Earp. And if it had been the other way around, you can bet Earp would be walking around a free albeit disgusting man, and people in Texas would STILL not have any answers to their questions of WHY. Most importantly, your signatures and support of this Second Amendment (the right to keep and bear arms) and Eighth Amendment (the right to reasonable bail) issue are crucial in bringing this matter to the attention of the national media…something that hasn’t transpired yet, probably due to the sheer isolation and lack of mainstream media coverage of the reality of the situation in Richland County
Now you know where THE links to petitions are; please go there and click, comment, contribute, “like” and share. If you are so inclined, feel free to print out the comments on Jenkins’ petitions and mail them to Jenkins at the Richland County Jail, 211 W. Market St., Olney, Ill., 62450. Send Jenkins some stationary and stamps. If you don’t hear back from him, call the sheriff’s department and ask them why. He has the right to correspond and receive correspondence. Let Brandon Jenkins know that you believe this is a case of self-defense, that prosecutor David Hyde charged him incorrectly, that bail is excessive, and that you are supporting him, his wife, his son and their family and friends in their quest to seek justice….and spread the word, because the internet, when used correctly like this, is a VERY POWERFUL tool.
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