UPDATE: Suspects charged in shooting death of Trooper
Two teenagers accused in the shooting death of Tennessee State Trooper Calvin Jenks now face murder charges after appearing in court in Tipton County.
New information came out in court today, according to these affidavits of complaint, Orlando Garcia confessed to police then fingered his 17-year-old counterpart as the shooter.
The two suspects came into court separately, each greeted by two rows of Tennessee Highway Patrolmen and other law enforcement officers.
Both were charged with first degree murder, Guana as a juvenile, Garcia as an adult.
Both teens are being held without bond.
The district attorney wants to try Guana as an adult. He can't ask for that until Guana undergoes a mental evaluation.
Sheriff "Pancho" Chumley has the same opinion of both suspects.
"How much meaner can anybody get than what they done to this trooper," says Chumley.
Chumley says he can still picture State Trooper Calvin Jenks lying dead on the side of Highway 14.
Chumley believes Garcia and Guana were running drugs from Texas, taking the long journey through Tipton County, in order to avoid police on I-40.
A dashboard camera is said to show Trooper Jenks questioning one man, then walking to the car before being shot at close range by the second suspect, who was sitting in the front seat.
District Attorney General, Mike Dunavant, said that people charged with killing a law enforcement officer usually face the stiffest possible penalties.
In a news release, TBI Director Mark Gwyn is quoted saying, "this is a sad day for law enforcement. We extend our condolences to the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the family of Trooper Jenks. No arrest can erase what's happened, but we hope this will provide some measure of comfort to his loved ones."
The tragedy began at 9:37 Saturday night, when a pair of hunters in Tipton County called police to say they had found a Tennessee Highway Patrolman's body in front of a patrol car, Northbound on Highway 14, just one mile south of Highway 54 in the community of Cotton Lake.
Trooper Calvin Jenks, a 24-year-old who joined the Tennessee Highway Patrol in April of 2004, had been shot to death after a traffic stop.
Authorities say Trooper Jenks was shot twice.
His co-workers had reportedly last had contact with Jenks at 8 p.m. when he booked some DUI suspects into the Tipton county jail. Authorities say after that the trooper went back to the DUI crime scene. That's when, they believe, he ran into the suspects.
A spokesman from the State Department of Safety says footage from the patrol car's video camera shows the trooper pulling over two men in a compact car.
There was no radio communication prior to the incident and it's not clear why he made the stop. Radioing the call in is not required.
We also know now that Jenks was wearing a bullet proof vest when he pulled their car over.
"The trooper was using his discretion. If he needs to call in a tag number we have dispatchers there to take that call and log that stop. His calling wouldn't have any impact on what happened," said Sutton.
According to a spokesperson for the THP, Jenks walked up to the car and smelled marijuana.
He asked the driver for his license. The driver reportedly didn't have one so Jenks made the guy put his hands up on the back of the car.
Jenks then reportedly asked if there were more drugs in the car. Officials say the suspect told him they were in the console. When Jenks went and looked into the car, the passenger in the front seat shot him, say THP officials.
The drivers then took off.
Investigators tell us there were hunters in the woods who noticed the flashing blue lights on Highway 14. They didn't think much of it until they continued to see the lights flashing. That's when they went over to investigate and that's when they found Trooper Jenks.
Later, a custodian at the Walmart on Dupree in Brownsville found a "Department of Safety" flashlight in the dumpster. He knew police were looking for suspects, so he reported it. Investigators also found shell casings in the Walmart Parking lot.
The suspects were located and arrested in Nashville on Sunday.
Investigators say they did find marijuana in the suspects' car. They say both men are from Austin Texas and appear to be in the country legally.
Jenks had been working in Tipton County for a year and a half, having been assigned there in July of 2005. Previously he'd been working in Marshall County, TN.
Jenks graduated from trooper school in April 2004. He transferred to the Tipton area in 2005 to be closer to his fiancee, who is in medical school in Memphis. Jenks had been married for two months and living on Mud Island.
According to the news release from the Highway Patrol, Trooper Jenks was a native of Maury County. He is a 1999 graduate of Culleoka High School and attended Columbia State Community College. Trooper Jenks told co-workers he became a Trooper to follow in his step grandfather, Wayne Hartsfield's, footsteps and to make a difference. Hartsfield is a retired THP Lieutenant.
"This cowardly act has taken a young man from his family and friends. Trooper Jenks was nearly the same age as my oldest daughter. Our hearts and prayers are with his family," said Colonel Mike Walker in the statement.
Trooper Ken Sutton was in Calvin Jenks' 2004 graduating class. "[He was a] good boy. I say country like us. We're country around here . He was a good country trooper," he said.
Stay tuned to Action News 5 and WMCTV.COM for updates on this developing story.
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