WKYT - Harlan - Headlines

Man accused in hate crime case apologizes to victim

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - A man convicted of kidnapping a gay man in Harlan County says he is sorry.

Anthony Jenkins apologized to Kevin Pennington Thursday during a sentencing hearing in London Federal Court.

Last October, a jury convicted cousins Anthony and Jason Jenkins of kidnapping Kevin Pennington but acquitted them of a hate crime.

Prosecutors say the cousins attacked Pennington because he is gay.

During the hearing, the U.S. Attorney said, "This crime is one of the most horrific and violent; these people intended to kill him."

U.S. Attorneys are seeking 405 months in prison for Jason Jenkins.

During the hearing, Jason Jenkins' wife testified he used to beat her up and was prone to violence. Another woman testified Jason Jenkins once raped and beat her.

Jason Jenkins declined to make a statement to the judge.

U.S. Attorneys are seeking 235 months in prison for Anthony Jenkins. His wife Alexis Jenkins testified he used to hit her. Alexis Jenkins is also charged in the case. The defense attorneys argued she testified for prosecutors in exchange for a lesser sentence.

Anthony Jenkins did make a statement to Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove. He apologized to Pennington and said, "I regret participating in this assault on April 4th, 2011. It's not something I am proud of. I understand how one bad choice can affect so many lives." He went on to tell the Judge his mother was murdered in 2005. He then said, "I'm asking on your behalf if you'll have mercy on me."

Kevin Pennington also addressed the judge. He told the judge he still suffers from the injuries received that night. Pennington said, "The night this happened, I begged these people to stop, and never not once did they stop. It got worse. They had every intentions of killing me. I endured pain, not just physical, the terror."

Judge VanTatenhove is now deciding the sentence. There is no date set yet for when Judge VanTatenhove will announce his decision and sentence Anthony and Jason Jenkins.

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