FBI agent says man accused of hate crime also kicked pregnant wife

bestep@herald-leader.comMay 7, 2012 

LONDON — One of the defendants in an alleged hate-crime attack in Harlan County also kicked his pregnant wife in the stomach last year, an FBI agent testified Monday.

Alexis Jenkins, the estranged wife of Anthony Ray Jenkins, had a miscarriage, said FBI agent Mike Brown. He also said Anthony Jenkins hit his wife on other occasions, including pounding her head against a wooden deck in December.

"'He's just a mean man who can't control himself,' is what she said," Brown testified during a hearing in federal court in London.

The testimony was meant to bolster prosecutors' argument that Anthony Jenkins has a temper and tendency toward violence.

Brown said Alexis Jenkins didn't report the attacks on her because she was afraid of her husband. Brown acknowledged she has told varying stories during the case.

His testimony came during a hearing to consider a request by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hydee Hawkins that Jenkins and his cousin, David Jason Jenkins, remain locked up until their trial this summer.

The two are charged with kidnapping and beating Kevin Pennington in April 2011, leaving him with a concussion, a damaged ankle and other injuries.

The two allegedly targeted him because he is gay.

The charges are the first of their kind in the nation under the federal hate-crimes law. The two face life in prison if convicted.

Alexis Jenkins and Ashley Jenkins, Anthony Jenkins' sister, both 19, have pleaded guilty to taking part in the crime and are cooperating with prosecutors.

Anthony Jenkins, 20, and David Jason Jenkins, 37, have pleaded not guilty.

Jimmy and Sheila Jenkins, who are Anthony Jenkins' uncle and aunt and who raised him, offered a different picture, saying that his temper was not out of the ordinary and that he grew up in church, worked hard and helped others in the community.

Sheila Jenkins said that Anthony and Alexis Jenkins stayed at her house the night the young woman miscarried and that Ashley Jenkins didn't seem afraid of him or mad at him.

"They were lovey-dovey. You couldn't tell nothing was wrong," Sheila Jenkins testified.

However, Jimmy and Sheila Jenkins also said they knew of no reason that other family members would lie about claims that Anthony Jenkins hit or threatened them.

A former girlfriend of David Jason Jenkins, Angela Burke, 37, wept as she testified that he beat her with a bat and raped her several years ago.

Burke said she later backed away from the charge out of sympathy for Jenkins' mother, who was caring for a bedridden relative.

And Burke said Alexis Jenkins had told her about Anthony Jenkins kicking her.

Burke acknowledged while being questioned by Anthony Jenkins' attorney, Willis Coffey, that she's been arrested a number of times, including for assaulting a police officer while drunk.

"How many people have you whipped?" Coffey asked.

"I don't know," Burke said.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Hanly A. Ingram did not immediately rule on the government's request to hold the two men without bond.

Bill Estep: (606) 678-4655. Twitter: @billestep1.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service