Jury hears statement for defendant in trooper's slaying - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Jury hears statement for defendant in trooper's slaying

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.

COVINGTON, Tenn. (AP) - Trial jurors heard a statement Tuesday from a Texas teenager about a drug-running trip to Tennessee that ended with a state trooper's death.

Orlando Garcia, 19, is charged with murder in the death of Trooper Calvin Jenks, 24, who was shot in January during what began as a routine traffic stop.

In his statement, presented to the jury by a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent, Garcia said he and friend Alejandro Gauna, 17, were pulled over by Jenks on state Highway 14 in Tipton County.

Jenks, who had stopped the teenagers' car on suspicion of speeding, was shot twice in the head at close range as he leaned into the vehicle saying he smelled marijuana, authorities say.

Garcia said in his statement that he and Gauna had been to Nashville and Millington, just north of Memphis, trying to sell marijuana they brought to Tennessee from Texas.

Garcia, the car's driver, told the TBI that Gauna asked him what they were going to do as they were being pulled over.

"Let's see what happens," Garcia said he replied.

Video taken by a camera in the trooper's patrol car shows Garcia standing at the back of his vehicle as Jenks approaches Gauna who was still sitting inside. Seconds later, the video records two loud pops, which authorities say were shots from a .25-caliber handgun fired by Gauna.

Garcia admits selling marijuana but denies responsibility for Jenks' death. If convicted of murder he faces life in prison with no chance of parole.

Gauna is scheduled for trial in April.

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

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