Friday, Nov 28, 2014

St. Pete man faces death penalty in love triangle killings

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Published:   |   Updated: May 10, 2013 at 10:21 PM
CLEARWATER -

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a convicted felon accused of killing his sometime girlfriend and a man she dated while he was behind bars, according to court documents made available today.

Jamaal Jenkins, 25, was booked into the Pinellas County Jail Thursday after he was extradited from Louisiana, where he was arrested in February. He faces two-counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Destynee Nekole Burkes, 24, of Gulfport, and Tieyannie D. Hollis, 31, of St. Petersburg.

Documents unsealed today provide the most detailed chronicle yet of the sequence of events leading up to the two fatal shootings and of investigators’ efforts to find Jenkins.

After he was released from jail in July, after serving six months on an obstruction charge, Jenkins apparently became upset that Burkes still sometimes saw Hollis, investigators have said.

During their on-again, off-again relationship, Jenkins on Dec. 26 rammed the car Burkes was driving in Pinellas Park. Ten days later, on Jan. 5, Jenkins told an inmate in a telephone conversation that was recorded that if Burkes testified against him “there was no point in her life continuing,” court documents state. Inmates’ calls are routinely recorded.

Two days later, Jenkins and Burkes, apparently back together, checked into the La Quinta Inn at 4999 34th St. N. shortly after 1 a.m. Less than 30 minutes later, Jenkins left Room 120 after shooting Burkes in the back of the head with a small-caliber handgun, according to court documents. She was found on the floor clutching a large purse.

A video surveillance camera captured Jenkins leaving and getting into a 2012 Chrysler 200 Burkes had rented. Later, Jenkins’ mother, Yulonda Jenkins, identified the man as her son, court documents state. A confidential informant told detectives that word on the street was she was distressed over what he had done to his girlfriend.

Jenkins also called both her son’s cell phone and Burkes’ within hours of her death; Jenkins had both phones with him as he drove the Chrysler to the Orlando area, the documents say. As a result, investigators were able to determine Jenkins’ path of escape.

While in the Orlando area, Jenkins took the license plate off the Chrysler and put it on another 2012 Chrysler 200. Then he abandoned the one stolen from Burkes and returned to Pinellas County in a different vehicle, according to court documents.


On Jan. 14, a week after Burkes’ death, Jenkins shot Hollis outside the Mariner’s Pointe apartments at 1175 Pinellas Point Drive, about 12:25 p.m., the documents say. Hollis was on his way to a friend’s apartment to pick up some photographs of Burkes and a rose from her funeral.

sthompson@tampatrib.com

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