A Florida man hired a hitman to kill his pregnant wife for a $500,000 insurance policy. Now, he will never walk free again.
This month, Circuit Court Judge Kirk Volker handed Euri Jenkins a life term in prison for orchestrating the shooting death of Makeva Jenkins, 33. After about three hours of deliberation, Volker was found guilty and convicted by a jury of first-degree murder.
According to prosecutors, on June 29, 2017, an accomplice of Jenkins, Joevan Joseph, 23, entered the couple’s home on Plumbago Place and shot the victim in the head while she slept. Later, Joseph told investigators Jenkins offered him $20,000 to kill his wife.
Though Joseph admitted to the killing and received a $10,000 deposit from the defendant, authorities offered him a plea deal for a lesser charge of second-degree murder in exchange for his testimony. In addition, he told investigators Jenkins had contacted him through a mutual friend, Dametri Dale, 23, who negotiated the deal.
Dale also pleaded guilty in November to manslaughter and turned state’s witness.
Initially, Jenkins had told investigators a masked man had shot his wife. Joseph also testified coming to the couple’s home dressed in black with a T-shirt tied around his face. However, he further testified Jenkins was the one who showed him where Makeva Jenkins slept in the upstairs bedroom.
“He was there for one reason and one reason only, and you heard that reason directly from his mouth. He said he had a job to do, and that job was to kill Makeva Jenkins,” said Prosecutor Alexia Cox during closing arguments, according to Sun Sentinel.
Authorities believe the motive for the killing was because Jenkins was not in love anymore with Makeva Jenkins, who had asked for a divorce. Furthermore, the defendant thought he was the beneficiary but later found out his wife had named her grandmother to receive the payout upon her death.
Jenkins’ defense lawyer Gregg Lerman questioned the integrity of Joseph and Dale due to the benefits of their plea agreement. He also told the jurors not to believe them, but they disagreed.
“I think we’re shocked by the outcome. It was clear that these two witnesses, these cooperating defendants, were the ones that committed this crime, caused it to happen and took the stand and perjured themselves,” he said.
"It is unquestionable that one or both of them lied any number of times about material issues, and individuals shouldn’t be convicted in this country based on knowingly perjured testimony that the government puts up,” said Lerman according to The Palm Beach Post.
Jenkins’ conviction came at a second attempt after the judge dismissed the former jury in 2020. The decision followed the claim by some jurors that they heard the victim’s family members discussing the case. As a result, a motion filed by the defense to discharge the former jury was granted.