The jury in the trial of Euri Jenkins has found him guilty of first-degree murder for hiring a hitman to kill his wife Makeva.
The verdict came after just a few hours of jury deliberations, late Thursday and early Friday.
The judge, as required, sentenced him to life in prison. Also, he’ll have to pay $568 in court costs.
“Nobody wins in this case,” Makeva Jenkins’ mother said in a victim impact statement, minutes after the jury left the courtroom.
Jenkins was charged with first-degree murder, accused of hiring a hitman to kill his wife Makeva Jenkins while she was sleeping on June 29, 2017. She was pregnant at the time. Euri Jenkins was arrested that December.
Friday morning, the judge began by warning people in the courtroom to control their emotions, especially in front of the jurors. The clerk read the verdict and then polled the jurors. Then, Makeva Jenkins’ mother made her statement and the judge sentenced Euri Jenkins, and he appeared to be fingerprinted.
Euri Jenkins did not take the stand in his own defense.
The state claimed Jenkins had his wife killed because he didn’t love her anymore and he wanted her life insurance money.
The defense said the prosecution’s witnesses could not be believed.
Confessed hitman Joevan Joseph testified that Euri Jenkins offered him $20,000 to kill his wife. Joseph admitted to shooting Makeva Jenkins once in her head. He testified that he did so because he needed money and her husband wanted her dead.
Joseph said he bought a handgun from a friend for $60 and dressed in black clothing, went to Jenkins’ home near Lantana and tied a T-shirt around his face as a mask. Then, Euri showed him where Makeva was, in her upstairs bedroom.
Prosecutor Alexcia Cox reminded the jury that Joseph testified, “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.”
However, Jenkins’ defense lawyer tried to poke holes in the prosecution’s case and question the credibility of the witnesses, who had taken plea bargains for their involvement in the murder.
Dametri Dale knew the couple, and introduced Euri Jenkins to Joseph, the hitman.
“Dale’s response is, ‘I’m broke. I don’t have any money,’” Gregg Lerman told jurors in closing arguments. “Hold on a second! What happened to this alleged $10,000 in cash that you just got? In part you allegedly used to buy a gun… A day or two later, they’re both claiming that they have no money.”
Euri Jenkins initially told authorities a masked intruder shot and killed his wife.
As part of the investigations, cable and phone bills and cellphones were taken into custody.
This is the second attempt at a trial for Jenkins.
Jury selection started more than two years ago — in January, 2020 — but that ended on the second day after several prospective jurors told the judge they overheard a member of the victim’s family talking about the case.
The judge dismissed several of these jurors but eventually granted a defense motion to discharge the jury panel and set a new trial date.
WPEC-Ch. 12 is a news partner of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.