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Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Molester Asks for Death, Gets 337 1/2 Years
By Joline Gutierrez Krueger
Journal Staff Writer
An Albuquerque postal carrier quoted Macbeth and Patrick Henry as he asked a judge to sentence him to a quick and humane death rather than force him to face what he called a "slow and torturous" life for his conviction on charges that he sexually molested two preteen girls.
State District Judge Ross Sanchez did not oblige. Instead, the judge on Monday quickly dispatched David Jenkins to prison for the next 337 1/2 years.
"That's all, folks," Jenkins, 43, said as he was led away in handcuffs for what will probably be the rest of his life. Jurors in May convicted the Navy veteran and former federal employee of 30 charges involving the molestation of the girls — cousins, ages 10 and 11 — the younger of whom prosecutors say became his obsession and what he called his Kitten Goddess of Mischief.
"These are bright young women, courageous and strong," prosecutor Elizabeth Counce told the judge. "His power ended, and their lives will go on."
Jenkins did not yield easily.
"As far as I'm concerned, this is not the end of this case; it is just the beginning," Jenkins said in a prepared speech. "Because in the words of John Paul Jones, 'I have not yet begun to fight!' "
Jenkins said that, just in case he was fated to "die for a lie," he asked the judge for a death sentence — a penalty his charges do not qualify for.
"To paraphrase Macbeth, if it is to be done, better it be done quickly," Jenkins said.
"Patrick Henry said, 'Give me liberty or give me death.' All I am saying, judge, is 'Give me justice or give me death,' " he concluded as family members of the two girls sighed. "My God," one muttered.
The younger of the two girls told the judge that, although she was raised to forgive, she believed Jenkins deserved "what he gets."
The girl, clutching a purple stuffed monkey, said she believed what happened to her happened for a reason: to save other little girls from Jenkins.
Jenkins, in a separate letter provided to reporters, had harsh words for nearly all who were involved in his case, including the judge, whom he called Judge Ross "Hang 'em High" Sanchez.
Of the jurors, he said his case "proves the old adage that the definition of a jury trial is, when you place your life in the hands of 12 people too stupid to get out of jury duty."
Prosecutors say the girls' mothers often relied on Jenkins to care for their daughters. In turn, they say he showered the girls with gifts and parties, and he concocted a sexually explicit mythological tale about the bubbly, blond child whom he had dubbed Kitten Goddess of Mischief.
The girls were molested, sometimes together, in Jenkins' Sandia Ridge apartment in the Northeast Heights from July 2004 to March 2005.