Testimony Begins In Landmark Federal Hate-Crimes Trial In Kentucky

On Thursday, federal prosecutors in London, Kentucky opened the first federal trial to invoke the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act because of the victim’s sexual orientation.

In April 2011, Kevin Pennington, 29 was approached at his home by Mable and Alexis Jenkins. Under the pretext of soliciting drugs, girls lured Pennington to a truck to join defendants Anthony and David Jason Jenkins.  After driving around for a while, the five stopped at a remote spot in rural Kingdom Come State Park in Harlan County, where Pennington told investigators that David, 37, demanded sexual favors and threatened to violently rape Pennington when he refused.

As the two attackers got out of the truck and came around for Pennington, he “asked me not to let them hurt him,” Ashley Jenkins testified this week. “He begged me.”

Pennington was then pulled out of the truck and knocked to the ground, where he was brutally beaten as the two men shouted, “How do you like this, faggot?!?”

“I was screaming at the top of my lungs to stop, please stop,” Pennington testified, wiping tears from his eyes. “I was sorry for anything I had done to make them do this to me.”

While one of the men searched for a tire iron and one of the girls agreed to help throw the corpse over the mountainside after they killed him, Pennington jumped over a cliff, hid behind a rock and waited 45 minutes for them to leave. Bruised and beaten, he made his way to a local park ranger station and called for help. Pennington was left with a torn ear, a torn shoulder ligament, boot marks on his body and gravel embedded into his face.

The defense acknowledges Pennington was beaten by the Jenkins men but claims it had nothing to do with his sexuality, but rather a drug deal gone bad. But Alexis, testifying for the prosecution, confessed Pennington’s orientation was the true motivation behind the plan to attack Pennington, after it was learned he had a relationship with Anthony Jenkins’ brother.

Alexis, 19, who is married to Anthony, 20. also testified that the men bragged about it after the fact: “It was like, you know, ‘We whupped that faggot.’”

In addition to hate-crime charges, David and Anthony Jenkins face conspiracy and kidnapping charges. The trial is expected to last up to a week and, if found guilty, the men could face life in prison.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #anthonyjenkins #davidjenkins #hatecrimes stories and more


  • Ogre Magi

    Wow, rednecks are the lowest representatives of humanity

  • 2eo

    @Ogre Magi: They’re not. The lowest society offers are the most educated that money can offer who still spout their hatred and bigotry.

    People like Mitt Romney and Orson Scott Card are far worse than any redneck because they DO know better and they choose to be small minded and wrong.

  • Jack T

    The religious bigots always want to FORCE their hateful views onto everyone.
    Matthew Shepard’s death doesn’t seem to have made any impact onto these idiots.
    Hate begets hate whether cloaked in the GUISE of religion or not. Every individual must be respected and what happens in the bedroom doesn’t define the person for who they truly are. Why is the hatred so strong in the ” Christian” countries? America is one of the tiny amount of “Civilized nations” with hate written into laws and basics of state constitutions.

    I see some African nations changing their laws & Constitutions based upon the concerted efforts of Christians proselytizing the leaders and population at large.They have become intolerant of any non-Christians. The religious dogma concerning of sex and love has been perverted to meet the scriptures that been carefully chosen to demonize “faggots” and those ” liberals” who cannot endure the blind hatred. I still have hope because the young people in America are not so willing to allow themselves to be brainwashed dogmatic hatred.

  • Guillermo3

    Sometimes[LOTS of Times!]All this insanity is too much to hear about/see reports of.

  • Dakotahgeo

    As PsOS, the Jenkins’ boys will decompose long before a life sentence can be served…
    thank God!

    *PsOS= Pieces of Sh*t

Comments are closed.