Boyle County teen faces years in prison after guilty plea in stepmother’s death

Jenna Oakley
Jenna Oakley

A teen accused in the 2016 death of her stepmother in Boyle County has pleaded guilty to multiple charges and faces years in prison.

Jenna Oakley, 17, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and theft of more than $10,000, according to Richie Bottoms, commonwealth’s attorney for Boyle County. Her charge of manslaughter was amended down from a murder charge, he said.

Oakley is tentatively scheduled to be sentenced in February. She faces 15 years in prison, Bottoms said.

Her father, Phillip Oakley, said the sentencing is too short.

“For the amount of time that she received for taking a life, I just don’t think it’s fair,” he told WTVQ.

Jenna Oakley’s stepmother, 52-year-old Rhonda Oakley, was found dead on Sept. 1, 2016, in her Danville home. Her body was found by her 13-year-old son.

Jenna Oakley, who was 15 years old at the time, was reported missing after her stepmother’s death. She and her boyfriend, Kenneth Nigh, were found two days later with Rhonda Oakley’s stolen Honda Civic in New Mexico.

Jenna Oakley and Nigh were then held in connection with Rhonda Oakley’s death. Nigh later died of injuries he suffered in a suicide attempt in a New Mexico jail.

Jenna Oakley was indicted on charges of murder and theft in October of 2016. She will turn 18 in March.