Defense shines during prosecution’s opening
RICHLAND CO.—Opening testimony in the murder case of a Texas man charged in the killing of a local Olney thug who was among a group of 15-20 who attacked him outside his hotel room at 2 a.m. has proven thus far to be one of the worst put together cases I have ever seen in my more than 20 years as a crime reporter.
Brandon L. Jenkins, 35, is charged with First Degree Murder for the shooting death of Michael Scott Earp, 23 in the morning hours of November 20, 2011.
As expected, duly elected state’s attorney David Hyde sat nearly comatose the entire day as appellate prosecutor David Rands carried the water for the state.
The only problem was that the pail Rands was given to carry said water appears on the first day of the state’s case as if it were not only full of holes but practically nonexistent.
It took only a few hours to get through all the prosecution’s expert witnesses, because there weren’t any.
Two local city officers painted a picture of pandemonium at scene of the shooting and even admitted they were more concerned getting the Texas man out of there before any of the attackers could kill him.
One officer described how as he went to the second floor to take the Texas man into custody, one of the attackers, Flavius Douglas Earp was pounding on doors and breaking fire lights in the hallway.
The officer said he attempted to take Flavius into custody but he resisted to the extent the officer decided he wouldn’t arrest him after all and he’d better get Jenkins out of there.
Doug Flavius Earp continued to tell the officer he would kill Jenkins.
Douglas Flavius Earp was never charged with anything.
The star of the day was not someone from the prosecution’s table but from the defense table.
Mild mannered John O’Gara questioned the investigating officers in the case allowing them to tell the jury how not a single shred of evidence was ever sent to the crime lab for testing.
And that is just the beginning of what appears to be a not only a travesty of justice for ever jailing Mr. Jenkins on a $3.5 million bond in the first place but for charging him with First Degree Murder.
It is starting to appear the charges against Mr. Jenkins may have been filed simply to appease the violent Earp clan because one of them finally pushed their vicious habits too far.
There will be no testimony in the case Friday, but testimony is scheduled to begin again Monday.
In the meantime, O’Gara and his crew of crack investigators in McClain Investigations are warming up in the bullpen for what is expected to be a simple trip around the bases in one of the most obvious self-defense cases in Southern Illinois.
BOMB DROPPED IN CASE: The depth of how the case is more screwed up than anyone ever could have imagined will be detailed in tonight’s PodCast and in other posted being written as you read this.
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