Nominate West Virginia Lock Up in the Best New and Best Law Blogs

The 2009 Weblog Awards
Whoever happens to stop by this blog may wonder why I started it. Whenever I read news stories online I always like to put a face to the story. So I got to thinking maybe other people would as well. I always keep up on WV news and most stories don't have the mugshots with them so I hunt them up online and post them with the story. It's not that hard and I don't know why the state news sites don't do it

Friday, November 6, 2009

Trial to begin in sex abuse case

CLARKSBURG — The state wants to use alleged evidence of flight in the case of a man charged with 10 sex-related counts against a pre-teen girl, but the defense will contest it.

Harrison Assistant Prosecutor Stephanie Concodora recently asked the court to set a hearing to determine whether the alleged evidence can be presented to jurors in the trial of Thomas A. Jenkins II. The trial is scheduled to start the week of Dec. 7.

“The State intends to use this evidence in its case in chief as evidence of the defendant’s guilty conscience or knowledge,” Concodora wrote in a motion to Judge John Lewis Marks Jr.

“The ... actions of the defendant show a desire to escape to avoid prosecution due to a guilty conscience,” she wrote. “Consequently, such evidence is more probative than prejudicial. Although the defendant was not in custody of a state agent at the time of the alleged flight, he was being actively pursued by law enforcement and was aware of the charges pending against him.”

Attorney Keith Skeen is representing Jenkins, 38, of Clarksburg. Skeen said he would oppose any attempt to introduce alleged flight evidence.

“Our position will be that (Jenkins) left before he was charged with any crime,” Skeen said Tuesday. “He wasn’t charged with anything, he wasn’t on bond, he was free to go wherever he wanted to go. And he certainly wasn’t fleeing from any authorities or prosecution.”

Concodora’s motion lays out an alleged timeline of events.

According to the court filing, Clarksburg Detective Pfc. Dave Wygal was notified Feb. 14 of alleged sexual abuse of the girl.

The detective interviewed the youth Feb. 17, “at which time (she) disclosed multiple incidents of sexual abuse committed by the Defendant,” Concodora wrote.

After the interview that day, Wygal went to the police department where Jenkins “was being processed for an unrelated misdemeanor case,” Concodora wrote.

“Detective Wygal informed the Defendant of his rights using a Clarksburg Police Department Interview and Miranda Rights form and informed the Defendant of the sexual abuse allegations,” Concodora wrote.

“The Defendant denied the accusations and refused to give a further statement to Detective Wygal; however, the Defendant did agree to obtain an attorney and be reinterviewed at a later date,” Concodora wrote.

A day later, attorney Betsy Griffith then contacted Wygal on behalf of Jenkins and an interview was scheduled for 11 a.m. March 18, Concodora wrote.

“On March 18 ... the Defendant missed the appointment and Ms. Griffith contacted Detective Wygal to reschedule,” Concodora wrote. “Later that day, Detective Wygal obtained arrest warrants for the Defendant at his mother’s house where he was reportedly staying. When the Defendant could not be located at his mother’s house or through his wife ... Detective Wygal contacted the U.S. Marshals Service for assistance.”

Jenkins was located by marshals several weeks later in Fort Myers, Fla., and the defendant waived extradition from Florida on May 8, according to Concodora.

Jenkins was returned to West Virginia on May 26 and remains jailed on $550,000 bond.

If convicted of all or some of the charges, Jenkins could spend the rest of his life in prison.


  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP