JENKINS NOT GUILTY OF FIRST DEGREE MURDER
RICHLAND CO.—The jury in the case against a Houston man charged with murdering an Olney thug was able to cut through the crap tonight and return a verdict of NOT GUILTY of First Degree Murder in the shooting death of local thug Michael Scott Earp.
The verdict was announced returned at 8:20 pm, about three hours twenty minutes after the jury was handed the case by Judge Larry Dunn.
Jenkins, 35, a directional oil well drilling tool consultant and salesman, sat quietly and somewhat humbly, as was his demeanor all along throughout the ordeal (which began last Tuesday with a two-day jury selection) as the jury foreman read the verdicts. The first verdict returned was “not guilty” on the charge of First Degree Murder, which stated that Jenkins, on November 20, 2011, shot Earp knowing his actions created a strong probability of Earp’s injury or death.
An addendum to that charge was that if Jenkins were found guilty of the murder and it was the direct or proximate result of his discharging a firearm, there would be an additional 25 years tacked on to a 20-60 year sentence. The jury made sure and announced that the “state did not prove that Jenkins discharged a firearm.” In other words, what Jenkins said was true: Because of the struggle between him and Scott Earp, and because Earp had his hands on the gun, Jenkins simply didn’t know who actually pulled the trigger. And the state, not doing even basic examination of Jenkins’ or Earp’s hands, didn’t investigate to the point that they could make that definitive statement.
The second returned verdict was “not guilty” of Unlawful Use of a Weapon. In other words, in this charge, if the jury found not guilty, that means Jenkins used his weapon LAWFULLY—to protect himself against the advancing menace of Scott Earp—and used it in a manner consistent with self-defense. Because he was not guilty of this charge, he was also not guilty of Aggravated Discharge of a Weapon and Aggravated Battery with a Weapon (meaning it was okay that he fired a shot off into the distance when the crowd began advancing on him….and, most importantly, HE DID NOT SHOOT CHRIS ARTEBERRY.) That part is remarkably key. The state, as we’ve noted, put on NO EVIDENCE to show that Arteberry was shot: no residue, no medical attention, no hole in his shirt. The grand jury just took his word for it last December. And David Hyde, Richland’s prosecutor, expected the jury to just “take his word for it.” They did not…and the whole thing was moot.
One of the alternative charges presented to Jenkins that he could be charged with and found guilty of instead of the Agg Discharge or Battery charges was Reckless Conduct. The jury did find him guilty of that count—a Class A misdemeanor.
Jenkins accepted that with great aplomb. He also accepted a bond of $25,000 ($2,500 cash) on the charge, was allowed to travel outside the state of Illinois but not outside the country (he has to give up his passport), must report to Richland County probation by phone only, not violate any law, is not to have any contact with witnesses or persons named in the indictments, and must return back to Richland on August 24 for a status on the misdemeanor.
Instead of doing something to restore a modicum of credibility to his name, his office and his capabilities as a prosecutor, David Hyde didn’t take any kind of steps to allow Jenkins to simply plead guilty to the misdemeanor right there, pay a fine and go home (or dismiss it, which would’ve been the wide thing to do). Instead, when it came time to reduce bail (from $3.5 million/$350,000 cash to $25,000/$2,500 cash) and John O’Gara, Jenkins’ defense attorney, made a motion to reduce, Hyde actually objected to the bond reduction on the misdemeanor, meaning he was asking the $3.5 million to stay in place for a minor crime that he has never even bothered to charge his boays, the Earp idiots, with, even though they’ve beaten people to within an inch of their lives. If any of you are aware of an attorney in the area who would like to run on the Democrat or Independent ticket against Hyde this fall, there is still time to caucus your party or circulate petitions. It’s time to get this man, who has proven by his actions and inaction to be a worthless piece of human feces, OUT OF OFFICE AND OFF THE TAXPAYER TEAT.
The Earp crew, represented by a few stragglers (including Tori deWeese and Breanna Trout, but minus the Earp mother, as she was thrown out Tuesday after a fit), were uncharacteristically quiet when the verdicts were read. Jenkins was escorted by a huge police/state trooper/deputy contingent across to the sheriff’s department first, where he was allowed to post bond. His family was escorted second. The rest of us were allowed to leave after the Jenkins crew were safely in the sheriff’s department. We do not have photos of the Jenkins family, a lovely group from all over Texas. We figured they needed to be with Brandon uninterrupted. However, we did talk to his Marine friends down in Houston to give them the good news, and a big shout-out goes to them.
This case is a blistering indictment on the ineffectiveness of David Hyde and those he had “investigating” the case. Had it gone the other way, Jenkins could very well have been murdered and his murderer still running around free, terrorizing his ex-girlfriend and her current boyfriend and creating the kind of havoc that ilk has done, as was testified to on the stand yesterday. It’s time to clean house in Richland County, and everyone needs to be aware of the seriousness of this. Send these posts and newsblasts and podcasts to everyone you know. Most importantly, pick up the current issue on stands, which is a lead-up to the trial….and don’t miss the next issue of Disclosure, on stands beginning next Monday.
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