Trash bags containing the severed hands and feet of Mekole Michelle Harris were dropped in front of two residences to frighten a woman into paying $10,000 to a Greenville couple, Thirteenth Circuit Deputy Solicitor Betty Strom alleged Friday in court.
The couple could face the death penalty if they are convicted in Harris’ death, Strom said.
During a bond hearing, the prosecution offered new details into what led authorities to arrest Carman Major Jenkins and Clarence Williams Jenkins and charge them with murder in connection with Harris’ death last month.
The 34-year-old mother of four’s body hasn’t been found, but authorities say it’s unlikely she survived. After the hearing, Strom declined to comment on why authorities believe Harris was targeted and said Harris had no connection with the people her appendages were sent to.
During the hearing, Circuit Judge Edward Welmaker denied bond for Carman Jenkins, 20. Her husband, Clarence Jenkins, 24, also is charged with murder and hasn’t had a bond hearing since the pair’s April 10 arrest.
Carman Jenkins’ defense attorney, Tim Sullivan, asked the judge to consider that Jenkins has two young children and no criminal record.
On April 7, two trash bags containing Harris’ hands and feet were found on the doorstep of two separate Cleveland Street-area residences -- one at Andover Park Apartments and another on Rose Avenue, Strom told the judge.
A few days before the body parts were found, Clarence Jenkins was seen with Harris at a Labor Finders office in Greenville, Strom said while arguing that Carman Jenkins would be a flight risk because she didn’t cooperate with police and faces the possibility of the death penalty.
Strom said an email address to respond to the alleged demand was provided along with "threatening letters" left with Harris’ body parts.
In the days following the discovery of the body parts, the email account was checked three times, Strom said.
Greenville police investigators used IP addresses to track where the account was checked -- twice from a Greenville County library computer and once from the Jenkins’ home, Strom said.
The library provided images of the couple checking the email address, Strom said.
Investigators went to the Jenkins’ home and asked Carman Jenkins to come to the Law Enforcement Center to talk about the case, Strom said. Jenkins told investigators that she would meet with them but that she had "child-care issues" to deal with first, Strom said.
Instead of going back to the Law Enforcement Center, investigators staked out the home and watched as Carman Jenkins made several trips to a trash dumpster over the course of an hour and a half, throwing away cleaning supplies and trash bags resembling the ones used to hold Harris’ hands and feet, Strom said.
Carman Jenkins eventually came to the Law Enforcement Center, where she lied to investigators about what she had been doing since they last spoke, Strom said.
Later, investigators went to the couple’s home to serve a separate arrest warrant on Clarence Jenkins and found blood spattered on the walls and bathroom, as well as a collection of swords and knives, handcuffs, a clump of hair and copies of other threatening letters, Strom said.
The letters -- demanding $10,000 -- had been sent to a woman who had lived with the couple for a time, he said. The woman was connected to the residences where the body parts were found, but Harris had no connection to the woman or the people at the residences, Strom said.
Carman and Clarence Jenkins are eligible for the death penalty if convicted because they are accused of killing someone for money or something of value and dismembering a body, Strom said. A few days before the body parts were found,