VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — For almost eight years, Jeannie Murphy’s family waited to have its day in court hoping the person connected to her death would be held responsible.”None of this is going to bring back my mom you know,” said Murphy’s son Nick Cortes.”No matter what situation, she was going through, she was always happy,” Cortes added about Murphy. “She had the best smile.”
28-year-old Alex Jenkins spent the last three days on trial for Murphy’s murder during an armed robbery in December 2010. Prosecutors say Jenkins, along with Tramonte Hines, robbed the Junior Market on South Lynnhaven Road.
“You have to relive it over and over again and it’s punishing,” Cortes said.
Jenkins admitted to the crime in 2014. He said he robbed the store with Hines. Murphy walked in unaware of the what was happening. When she tried to run, prosecutors say Hines shot her twice in the back. Jenkins was charged with her murder, because of his part in planning the robbery.
After five hours deliberating, the jury came back with not guilty on the murder charge.”I don’t know, maybe their conscious saw that he didn’t pull the trigger so he wasn’t held responsible,” Murphy’s brother Matt Murphy added. Jenkins was found guilty on five charges, including the two robberies, two use of firearms and conspiracy. He was sentenced to 35 years.
The clerk who was behind the counter that night was hoping for more. “It’s not enough for me,” said Louise Cheek. “It’s not enough for the Murphy family. They were the ones who lost someone. I’m still here to watch my kids grow up, but it’s not enough.”
“Obviously too little,” Cortes added. “For my life, her brother’s life, and all the lives that are affected, and he still gets to get out and live his life. Yeah, he did get some the time, but he has his family and everything else. It’s not fair.”
Jenkins will be able to get out when he is 63 years old. He will be formally sentenced July 23. As for Hines, a trial date has not yet been set. Hines is already serving an 83-year prison sentence for a separate armed robbery he committed with Jenkins just three days before the Junior Market robbery.