LEXINGTON, Ky. — The two Kentucky women connected to the beating of an openly gay Kentucky man have pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting a kidnapping and hate crime assault, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
Mable Ashley Jenkins and Alexis LeAnn Jenkins entered guilty pleas Wednesday in the April 2011 attack on Kevin Pennington, said a spokesperson for U. S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey, and added that the pair’s pleas were under court ordered seal for two days.
Alexis Jenkins is the wife of Anthony Jenkins, and Mable Jenkins is his sister and cousin of David Jenkins. Both men were indicted earlier this week by a federal grand jury under the first known application of the Matthew Shephard and James Byrd Jr. hate crimes Prevention Act, alleging a criminal offense under the sexual orientation provision of the statute.
The U. S. Attorney’s office also said that the women, both age 19, face a sentencing hearing in August. The charges they admitted to carry a maximum of life in prison. Their plea agreements remain under seal.
According to the indictment documents, Anthony and David Jenkins took Pennington against his will into Kingdom Come State Park near Cumberland in Harlan County on April 4, 2011, and severely beat him while yelling slurs about his sexual orientation. Mable and Alexia Jenkins admitted they lured Pennington into the pickup truck.
FBI Special Agent Anthony M. Sankey stated in an affidavit that the women allegedly cheered on the attack, yelling “kill that faggot.”
Anthony Jenkins, 20, of Partridge, Ky., and David Jason Jenkins, 37, of Cumberland, Ky., were charged with conspiracy, kidnapping and committing an act of violence based on the victim’s sexual orientation.
The two men have pleaded not guilty, and are scheduled to stand trial June 18 and if convicted, face a maximum of life in prison.