Gauna convicted in death of Tennessee State Trooper - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

Gauna convicted in death of Tennessee State Trooper

A trial jury in Covington convicted a Texas teenager Wednesday of murdering a Tennessee state trooper.

The jury deliberated only 30 minutes Wednesday before finding 18-year-old Alejandro Gauna of Austin guilty of first-degree murder in the slaying of Trooper Calvin Jenks.

In the courtroom, the verdict drew cheers from the Jenks family.  Afterwards, Gauna's family refused comment, but Jenks' family did not.

"We are very thankful that it has, in fact, come down to the verdict that they reached," Norm Jenks, Calvin's father, said. "We think it's very just.  We think it's justice for Calvin, and secondary justice for the family."

Jenks' family sat through most of the trial with heads bowed and tears flowing.  But there's more to sit through, as the same jury that convicted Gauna will hear more testimony in a sentencing hearing.

"We feel like the decision they made today is probably the best thing that can happen to that individual," Norm Jenks said. "We don't feel that individual should be put back on the streets to have this occur to another family."

Jenks was shot to death on a rural county road near Covington in January 2007.

Authorities say Gauna was in Tennessee with a friend to sell marijuana and shot the trooper during a traffic stop for speeding.

Gauna admitted to police that he shot Jenks but argued the shooting was not premeditated. 

Gauna faces the possibility of life in prison without parole.  The jury will likely decide his fate Thursday morning.

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