Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Two Women Plead Guilty to Gay Bashing and Kidnapping in Kentucky

Alexis Jenkins and (Mable) Ashley Jenkins, both 19, convicted of anti-gay hate crime in Eastern Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky – Two teenaged women pled guilty on Wednesday as accomplices in the kidnapping and assault of a gay man in Harlan, Kentucky. The women are the first persons convicted under the provisions of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama in October 2009.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky announced that Alexis LeAnn Jenkins and Mable Ashley Jenkins, both 19 years old, entered guilty pleas to assisting a pair of cousins, Anthony Ray Jenkins and David Jason Jenkins, in a brutal assault and attempted murder against Kevin Pennington, an openly gay man whom the quartet abducted to Kingdom Come State Park on April 4, 2011.  The women’s pleas were sealed for another two days, according to LGBTQ Nation.  If they are found guilty of the charges, and no plea bargain agreement is in play, the women could face life sentences. It may be that they agreed to cooperate with federal authorities in order to receive lesser sentences, which will be handed down against them in August as the court schedule now stands. Alexis Jenkins is the spouse of Anthony Jenkins, and (Mable) Ashley Jenkins is his sister and a cousin of (David) Jason Jenkins.

The announcement of the guilty pleas come a day after a federal grand jury indicted Anthony and Jason Jenkins of kidnapping, conspiracy, and carrying out a deadly attack on Pennington because of his sexual orientation. The cousins have entered not guilty pleas to all charges, and will have their day in court on June 18.

In a statement issued Friday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the roles played by Alexis and Ashley Jenkins in the near-deadly attack on Pennington became clearer:  “The women admitted they lured [Kevin] Pennington into a truck with two other defendants, Anthony Ray Jenkins and David Jason Jenkins. The truck was driven to an Eastern Kentucky state park where Pennington was allegedly assaulted by the male defendants,” the statement says. “Both women waived their right to be indicted and pleaded guilty to the charges brought by U.S. Attorney [Kerry B.] Harvey and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.”

Though the Jenkins cousins recruited the women to entice Pennington into their Silverado pickup, Alexis and Mable were equally as intent on the gay man’s murder as were the men, according to the details of the federal indictment filed against Anthony and Jason. Kentucky.com reports that the women allegedly cheered on the Jenkins men as they beat Pennington senseless, yelling “Kill the faggot!” Pennington, who is 28, suffered injuries to his chest, head, face, and neck.  Had he not escaped his attackers, he has no doubt he would have been killed. Prosecutors indicate that the savagery of the gay bashing is not what qualified it as a federal hate crimes case.  Instead, the fact that the defendants transported the victim in their vehicle on a federal roadway allowed the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to become involved in the investigation and prosecution of the crime.  The Kentucky Equality Federation appealed to the U.S. Justice Department to intervene in the case, since local judges and other law enforcement officers were reluctant to carry the investigation forward in an effective way.

April 14, 2012 - Posted by | Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, Beatings and battery, FBI, gay bashing, gay men, GLBTQ, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Kentucky, Kentucky Equality Federation, LGBTQ, Matthew Shepard Act, Slurs and epithets, Social Justice Advocacy, U.S. Justice Department, women | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. In other words, the Feds had to step in because the local redneck judges and law enforcement officials REFUSED to do what they are legally obligated to do in such criminal cases. The judges and law enforcement officials are no better than the criminals! Charge them also, with dereliction (sp) of duty!

    Comment by dakotahgeo | April 15, 2012 | Reply


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