Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

FBI Charges Four with Kidnapping Accused Face Maximum of Life in Prison

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

FBI Charges Four with Kidnapping Accused Face Maximum of Life in Prison

Article excerpt

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Four people were charged Wednesday with kidnapping a man and taking him to a state park in Kentucky's Appalachian region, then severely beating him while yelling slurs about his sexual orientation. The FBI arrested 37-year-old David Jason Jenkins of Cumberland, 20-year-old Anthony Ray Jenkins and 19- year-old Alexis Leann Combs Jenkins of Partridge and 19-year-old Mable Ashley Jenkins and charged them with kidnapping and aiding a kidnapping.

The charges stem from an incident on April 4, 2011, when, the FBI said, the four took the man against his will into Kingdom Come State Park near Cumberland in Harlan County and beat him until he escaped.

Kyle Edelen, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Lexington, said the kidnapping charge carries a maximum of life in prison and that the investigation is ongoing. Prosecutors have 30 days to bring the case before a grand jury.

Attorney Michael Murphy, who represents Alexis Jenkins, said he was assigned the case this morning and hadn't digested all of the details in the FBI's affidavit. But Murphy also wondered about the time elapsed between the alleged attack and the federal charges.

"Why, after all this time, has the federal government come in and charged them now?" Murphy said.

Attorney James Hibbert, who represents Mable Jenkins, declined comment. Messages left for the attorneys for David Jenkins and Anthony Jenkins were not immediately returned Wednesday.

The Kentucky Equality Federation, a civil rights group, pushed to have the four charged under a 2009 federal hate crimes law.

"We wanted this in federal court where the judges are appointed, not elected, so they don't have to keep a portion of the population happy," said Jordan Palmer, executive director of the group.

FBI Special Agent Anthony M. Sankey indicated in an affidavit that the investigation started out as one into a hate crime because of sexual orientation, but that the four have only been charged with kidnapping.

David and Anthony Jenkins were initially charged in state court with attempted murder, while Alexis and Mable Jenkins were charged with complicity to attempted murder. …

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