Teen charged in trooper murder wants trial moved

Tennessee State Trooper Calvin Jenks
Tennessee State Trooper Calvin Jenks

A teenager accused of killing a Tennessee state trooper says he can't get a fair trial in the Mid-South.

Orlando Garcia is charged with the murder of trooper Calvin Jenks after a traffic stop on Highway 14 in Tipton County.

Garcia appeared in court Friday morning to ask for a change of venue.

Garcia and his friend Alejandro Guana are charged with the murder of Calvin Jenks, the state trooper who was shot to death after he stopped Garcia and Guana on Highway 14 near Covington.

Garcia's attorneys want his trial moved out of Tipton County.

"This incident was very highly publicized and that concerns us of course and we want to make sure people formulate opinions at the trial as opposed to before the trial," said Defense Attorney William Massey.

Massey also blamed a Mid-South newspaper for wanting the trial moved. Now, that newspaper, The Leader in Covington, is fighting the court to keep entries made on its online blog private.

The murder of Jenks has been the topic of a lot of entries into the opinion section on the local newspaper's website.

Now, attorney's for murder Garcia are using those blog entries to argue that their client needs a change of venue.

Defense attorneys want the Leader to give them the names of people who registered on the paper's website and then voiced their opinions about the case on an online blog.

The defense wants to eliminate some of those people from the jury pool for fear they are biased against Orlando Garcia, a co-defendant in the shooting death of Tennessee trooper Calvin Jenks.

Prosecutors argue releasing those identities would be the equivalent of asking the newspaper to reveal news sources.

TBI agents testified that after the shooting Garcia and Guana promised two men marijuana in exchange for a ride to Nashville.

Those two men later led FBI agents to the hotel room in Nashville where Garcia and Guana had checked in.

Garcia's attorneys also want a judge to throw out statements Garcia made to TBI agents immediately after he was arrested.

Agents who went inside the hotel room and questioned Garcia without a warrant.

The family of the murdered state trooper including his widow Sara attended the hearing.

They are not making statements to the press for fear it will lend to the defense argument that the case has received to much media attention to give Garcia a fair trial in Tipton County.

The hearing is still going on at the Tipton County Justic Center.

You can read the latest on this developing story in The Leader in Covington. It will be on news stands Tuesday.


to email Anna Marie Hartman.