Published: Saturday, February 25, 2006
Murder trial of Jenkins to begin
The murder trial is scheduled to begin Monday.
By ED RUNYAN
WARREN There are memorials to Deana Jenkins throughout the Child Support Enforcement Agency offices downtown: photographs, a Scripture, a star in a window placed in her honor.
Just as prominent as these physical mementos are the memories kept by many of her co-workers.
For them, it wasn't that long ago when Deana Jenkins occupied the same offices with them, bringing her friendly and upbeat personality to their lives.
Co-workers have held many memorial observances since she died in May 2004, the victim of homicide.
Her husband, David Jenkins, is scheduled to go on trial in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court on Monday in her slaying. He is charged with murder. Jury selection is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. before Judge Peter Kontos.
Sue Spain, a unit supervisor at CSEA, said Deana Jenkins worked at the agency for 10 years as an enforcement specialist and was one of the best-liked people there.
"Nobody ever said anything but nice things about her," Spain said, adding that Jenkins was a religious woman who never said mean things about other people. "She was a very positive person."
Being in the child support business can sometimes be difficult, Spain said, because cases involve parents and their custody issues. "She had one of the best work records here, and she was always nice to clients," Spain said.
David Jenkins absent
Spain was attending a banquet at DeLucia's Banquet Room in Warren the night Jenkins died. David Jenkins, a former pastor and Warren G. Harding High School girls basketball coach, was supposed to deliver the invocation.
Someone else stood up and gave the invocation, saying that a family emergency was preventing David Jenkins from being present, Spain said. The speaker said to pray for the well-being of the Jenkins family, but no one at the time knew the type of emergency.
Deana Jenkins' friends and co-workers have conducted observances on her birthday and Mother's Day.
They took balloons with them and wrote a tribute to her on her birthday last year Jan. 29 which was read at her grave. They also wrote a tribute to her that was placed on a marker in the Women's Park in downtown Warren.
The tribute reads: "Tears of sorrow, erode this stone, because heaven's angels took her home. Deana M. Jenkins, Jan. 29, 1965 - May 20, 2004."
Tributes can also be found throughout the CSEA offices: Photographs of her are on the wall in the second-floor reception area and on walls in several other locations. Near the desk where she worked, her former supervisor placed a lighted star in the window that remains there still.
In the days before her death, Deana Jenkins helped a close friend plan a party that was to be held the following Saturday. It was to have a 70s hippie theme. "It was Deana's idea for the party," Spain said.
Free on bond
David Jenkins has been free on $100,000 bond since his arraignment charging him with strangling his wife in the closet of their Clearwater Street Northwest home.
If convicted, Jenkins could face 15 years to life in prison, said Chris Becker, the assistant Trumbull County prosecutor handling the case.
William E. Mullane, Harding principal, said David Jenkins worked at the Rebecca Williams Community Center. He was inducted in 2003 into the Trumbull African American Achievers Hall of Fame.