No motive in letter, prosecutor states



Jury deliberations are to enter the third day today.
By ED RUNYAN
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- The letter the defense revealed in a closing argument in the David Jenkins murder trial isn't much different from other letters investigators were aware of, the prosecutor says.
Chris Becker, Trumbull County assistant prosecutor, said Thursday he didn't think the letter showed what defense attorney J. Gerald Ingram said it did -- that another man had a motive for killing Deana Jenkins.
Investigators were aware of the letter, he said.
Jenkins, 43, former Warren Harding High girls basketball coach, is accused of strangling his wife, Deana, in their Clearwater Street Northwest home May 20, 2004.
Judge Peter Kontos of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court said the letter would not be released to the press while jurors are deliberating. Jurors have possession of all the exhibits.
The letter Ingram mentioned in his closing argument Wednesday will be found in Deana Jenkins' purse, he told jurors. The purse is an exhibit in the trial.
Witnesses also have testified that David Jenkins received letters after his wife's death and some were from male admirers. The letters were from personal effects from her office in the county Child Support Enforcement Agency.
One friend also testified that Deana Jenkins had been having an affair.
Jurors went home at about 4:15 p.m. Thursday without reaching a verdict and are to begin deliberations again this morning. The jury began deliberations Wednesday around 2 p.m.
2 requests denied
The jury asked the court two questions Wednesday afternoon: whether jurors could have a copy of a time line projected by the prosecution onto a viewing screen during closing arguments; and if the court would identify some phone records.
The answer to both questions was no, Becker said, explaining that jurors are required to use their collective memory. The time line was not entered into the record as evidence and therefore is not available to the jury.
If convicted, Jenkins faces a prison sentence of 15 years to life.
runyan@vindy.com

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