UPDATE: Jury sees dashcam footage of night trooper was killed - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney and Steven Russell

UPDATE: Jury sees dashcam footage of night trooper was killed

Calvin Jenks Calvin Jenks

Below is the latest story from the Associated Press.  For much greater detail about what happened in court, and to leave your comments, click here to read WMCTV.com's courtroom blog.


Patrol car video shows trooper's slaying, prosecutor says

By WOODY BAIRD

COVINGTON, Tenn. (AP) - Three minutes after a state trooper stopped two Texas teenagers in a speeding car, he lay dead with two bullets in his head, a murder trial jury was told Monday.

Trooper Calvin Jenks was shot with a .25-caliber handgun as he leaned into the car saying he smelled marijuana, prosecutor Walter Freeland said in his opening statement at the trial of Orlando Garcia, 19.

"The first shot was at close range right above his right eye and the second shot was to the back of his head" because Jenks' head had dropped forward, Freeland said.

Garcia and Alejandro Gauna, 17, both of Austin, Texas, are charged with killing Jenks along a rural highway in January while on a marijuana selling excursion to Tennessee.

Defense lawyer William Massey blamed the killing on Gauna, who will stand trial separately, saying Garcia was shocked when the shots rang out. However, Massey said he admits to selling marijuana.

The killing was captured on video by a patrol-car camera, showing Gauna firing the shots from inside the car as Garcia stood at the rear of the vehicle where Jenks had taken him for questioning, Freeland said.

Jenks, 24, looked in the driver's side window of the car, Freeland said, after Garcia told him there was marijuana in the vehicle's console.

"The tape will show Mr. Garcia sending Trooper Jenks to his death ... He doesn't waste a step in calmly walking to the driver's side where he dumps the body out like a sack of potatoes," Freeland said.

Massey, though, gave a different description of Garcia's reaction to the gunfire.

"He was in a state of shock," Massey said.

The marijuana selling trip to Nashville was Gauna's idea to begin with, Massey said, and Garcia went along because they were longtime friends.

After the shooting about 40 miles north of Memphis, Garcia and Gauna went to a discount store where they bought new shirts and cleaning material to try to get Jenks' blood out of the car, which they abandoned, Freeland said.

They phoned two men they had approached earlier about a marijuana sale in the nearby town of Millington, he said, and got a ride to Nashville where they were arrested the following morning at a motel.

Authorities have not said how much marijuana Garcia and Gauna had, but Freeland said it was "not ounces but pounds." They apparently did not have a buyer lined up but expected to sell the marijuana "in the hood," he said.

Jenks, who had been patrolling alone, was found dead beside state Highway 14 by two hunters attracted by the flashing lights on his cruiser.

Authorities had few leads when launching an immediate search for the killers, but within hours the two men who drove Garcia and Gauna to Nashville were stopped for an unrelated traffic offense and led investigators to them, Freeland said.

Jenks, a state trooper for two years, transferred from Marshall County in Middle Tennessee to Tipton County in 2005. He and his wife, Sarah, a medical student in Memphis, were married in 2006. 

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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