Repeat, Violent Offender Facing Rape Charges in Two Counties
Willie Fred Jenkins of Greenville was arrested early February and is facing charges of rape, sodomy, and kidnapping in Butler County. He is also facing three counts of rape in Lowndes County, from another arrest that came after the first alleged victim came forward.
Authorities say Jenkins has a violent criminal history. His first major arrest stems from an armed robbery in 1996. District Attorney Charlotte Tesmer says she isn’t sure when Jenkins was released from jail, but records show he was arrested again in 2002. He plead guilty in that case and recieved a life sentence.
Even with that sentence, Jenkins was granted parole in August of 2016. Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden says Jenkins’ freedom didn’t last long – only eight days.
“On August the 16, we arrested him for enticing a child for immoral purposes on two counts,” Harden remembers.
“It’s offensive to me that the board did not revoke his parole,” adds Tesmer. She says she understand jails are crowded, but doesn’t know why Jenkins was granted parole over a prisoner with a less violent history. Both Tesmer and Harden say the parole board is at fault for Jenkins latest crimes, and that something needs to be done to keep violent offenders behind bars.
“I hear the arguments of people who use illegal substances being locked away for long periods of time and they’re not violent. That’s a completely different argument, this man has proven that he’s violent,” she says.
“He needs to spend his life sentence in the penitentiary,” says Harden. “If the parole board had done their job, we would not have these four victims that we have now.”
It’s a subject Representative Chris Sells feels passionately about, and vows to fix.
“We’ve got to keep monsters like this off the street,” Sells says. “That’s our job, as law makers, as police officers, as district attorneys, let’s put these people away, and keep them away from the general public.”
Tesmer says she has filed a motion to revoke Jenkins’ bond on the enticement charges from 2016. Jenkins has a $750,000 bond from the arrest in Butler County. Tesmer requested a $1,000,000 bond for the charges in Lowndes County. Jenkins is currently being held in the Lowndes County Jail.