Published: March 15, 2012
The arrests stem from an alleged incident where two men and two women took Kevin Pennington to Kingdom Come State Park and he was severely beaten in April of last year.
Pennington reportedly sustained injuries to his head, chest, back, face, left arm and leg, his neck and ear.
According to an affidavit prepared by FBI Agent Anthony Sankey, Pennington was at his home when the two female defendants stopped by and asked Pennington if he would go riding with them.
Pennington stated he did not know who was in the truck when he first entered, but did recognize two male defendants when a light was turned on in the truck. Upon recognizing them, Pennington asked to be taken home and was told they were just riding up to the park and would turn around.
The affidavit also stated, the vehicle stopped when they drove up on a fallen tree across the road on Little Shepherd Trial. The two male defendants then pulled Pennington from the vehicle and started to punch and kick him while making anti-homosexual statements. During the attack Pennington was covering his face and they were all screaming "how you like this faggot."
Pennington was able to escape when the defendants went back to the truck, while they walked to the truck they were discussing getting a tire iron. Pennington jumped down the mountain and hid behind some rocks where he hid for approximately 20 minutes after seeing the headlights pull away.
Pennington then made his way to the park ranger station in search of help. He was unable to locate any park rangers, so he broke out a window in the park manager's residence and used the telephone inside to call 911. He remained at the residence until the police arrived.
David and Anthony Jenkins were originally arrested on indictment warrants returned by a Harlan County Grand Jury on a charge of attempted murder. Mable and Alexis Jenkins were served with indictment warrants on a charge of complicity to attempted murder. These charges will be dropped in deference to the federal case.
Also alleged in the affidavit, "there is sufficient probable cause to believe that David Jason Jenkins, Anthony Ray Jenkins, Mable Ashely Jenkins and Alexis Leeann Jenkins, aided and abetted by each other, did willfully and unlawfully kidnap, abduct, seize, confine, inveigle, decoy and carry away, Kevin Pennington and hold him for the purpose of assault, and did use an instrumentality of interstated commerce, to wit; a vehicle and an interstate road, in committing the offense, all in violation of 18 U.S.C. SS 1201 (a)(1) and 2."
At this time, federal authorities have not charged the defendants with a hate crime, however, the investigation is still ongoing.
"United States Attorney Kerry Harvey has shown enormous outreach and support of the federal hate crimes legislation," Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer said in a statement. "We have remained in regular contact with the commonwealth's attorney, county attorney, and the United States Attorney throughout this investigative process.
We also extend our thanks to Commonwealth's Attorney Henry Johnson and County Attorney Fred Busroe Jr."
Palmer continued, "In a civil society we must live together in peace and harmony. We cannot allow citizens to be targeted because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, Latino, or any other manner you can separate and label a person."
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