On Thursday, January 14, 2016, PCSO Homicide detectives obtained an arrest warrant and placed into custody 54-year-old Alfred Ranard Jenkins, whose last known address was 895 13th Court NE in Winter Haven, for First Degree Murder and other charges in the homicide of Terry Yelvington. Jenkins has an extensive criminal history (see below) and was a coworker of Yelvington’s.
“Alfred Jenkins drove to Terry Yelvington’s house with a vendetta. This convicted felon, who has been in and out of jail in four different states, and to state prison for violent crimes, blamed this hard-working, honest family man for getting arrested and fired, and because of that, he brutally and senselessly murdered Terry Yelvington. Alfred Jenkins is a cruel and dangerous man, and I hope he is never, ever released from prison.” – Sheriff Grady Judd
According to the affidavit, on the morning of August 11, 2015, the Lake Alfred Police Department responded to 735 Todhunter Way South in the city of Lake Alfred in reference to a person who had been shot. LAPD officers located the victim, Terry Yelvington, deceased from gunshot wounds, laying in the grass beside his driveway. LAPD contacted PCSO for assistance, and a joint investigation began. An autopsy concluded that Yelvington’s cause of death was gunshot wound to the head, and the manner of death was homicide.
During the joint investigation, detectives interviewed neighbors, one of whom reported seeing a dark blue or black SUV leaving Yelvington’s driveway that morning. Video surveillance was obtained from a nearby residence in Lake Alfred, which showed a dark SUV traveling east on Thelma Street towards the crime scene that morning. The SUV appeared to be a late 90s to early 2000 model GMC Jimmy or Chevrolet Blazer. Detectives also received a tip from a witness who saw the suspect vehicle that morning, and identified the suspicious SUV as a Chevy Blazer. Detectives also consulted with a local auto dealer who confirmed the vehicle in the video surveillance was likely a Chevy Blazer or GMC Jimmy.
During the investigation, detectives contacted the victim’s employer, Packaging Corporation of America (PCA). Through interviews with supervisors and employees, detectives learned that the victim was the president of the employees’ United Steelworkers union, and as a part of his duties he made recommendations on employee discipline and/or termination. An ex-employee, Alfred Jenkins, was mentioned by several coworkers. Detectives learned Jenkins was terminated in 2009 for misconduct related to his role as union treasurer. After Jenkins’ termination, Yelvington learned Jenkins had stolen union funds and forged union checks for his own personal gain. Yelvington reported the crime, which resulted in a criminal investigation, and Jenkins’ arrest in 2011 for grand theft.
Detectives learned that Jenkins drives a dark blue 2000 Chevy Blazer. Detectives responded to Jenkins’ residence (2216 Avenue B SW, Winter Haven), and although Jenkins was not home at that time, they did observe a dark blue Chevy Blazer parked in the driveway. Detectives took photos of the SUV, which they later showed to one of the witnesses, who positively identified it as the suspect vehicle.
On September 11, 2015, PCSO detectives served a search warrant at Jenkins’ home, which at that time was 2216 Avenue B SW in Winter Haven. During the search, detectives found a drawstring bag containing rolling papers, a glass smoking pipe, and a plastic baggie containing marijuana. They also found six street signs (24th Street SW, two Executive Road, and two Avenue B SW). Jenkins was subsequently arrested for Possession of Marijuana and Paraphernalia and three counts Felony Petit Theft (3rd or Subsequent Offense) for the theft of the street signs. He was released from jail on October 10, 2015.
During a post-Miranda interview, Jenkins admitted to knowing Terry Yelvington from PCA, but denied going to Lake Alfred anytime during the previous month or on August 11, 2015.
Detectives continued to interview Jenkins’ acquaintances, one of whom told them that prior to Jenkins’ September arrest, Jenkins said the police were “coming after him,” and that he was worried about the fact that the police have his truck on video and that he (Jenkins) had his phone with him in the truck. Jenkins told the acquaintance that he had three firearms: a .380 Beretta, a Remington, and a 12-gauge pump shotgun. Jenkins said he had to get rid of one of the firearms, and that he also “cleaned” it, but he didn’t specify which one.
After Jenkins’ September arrest, he spoke with the same acquaintance, and told the acquaintance that he (Jenkins) went to Yelvington’s home, where he had a physical altercation with the victim in his garage because Yelvington had gotten him fired and arrested and owed him money. Jenkins said then he “went blank.” The acquaintance also told detectives that one of Jenkins’ girlfriends had Jenkins’ guns at her house.
On January 14, 2016, detectives served two search warrants and seized ammunition matching shell casings found at the scene of the homicide. They responded to 895 13th Court NE, Winter Haven, and took Jenkins into custody without incident. The investigation is ongoing in regards to items seized during the search warrants.
Jenkins was booked into the Polk County Jail on the following charges:
· First Degree Murder (FSS 782.04) (F-C)
· Armed Robbery (FSS 812.13(2)(A)) (F-L)
· Possession of a Firearm/Ammunition by a Convicted Felon (FSS 790.23(1)(A)) (F-2)
· Tampering with Evidence (FSS 918.13) (F-3)
Alfred Jenkins’ criminal history, with 8 prior felonies and 2 prior misdemeanors, includes:
NEW JERSEY CHARGES:
· 06/11/1981 – Possession of Heroin & Marijuana
· 10/27/1981 – Possession of Stolen Property
· 02/16/1983 – Burglary, Larceny
· 03/25/1983 – Possession of Marijuana, Resisting Arrest
· 05/14/1986 – 4 counts Burglary
· 05/19/1986 – Robbery
· 01/19/1989 – Grand Theft
· 02/03/1992 – Armed Robbery, Burglary, Theft
· 11/30/1992 – Felony Theft, DWLSR
· 01/13/1993 – VOP
· 02/11/1993 – Flight/Escape
· 10/25/1991 – St. Petersburg PD – Armed Business Robbery – in 1993, sentenced to 20 years state prison; released from state prison in November 2005
· 10/25/1997 – Pinellas County SO – 2 counts Robbery, Kidnapping
· 12/19/2011 – Polk County SO – Grand Theft (related to theft of union funds)
· 12/23/2011 – Polk County SO – out of county warrant
· 09/11/2015 – Possession of Marijuana & Paraphernalia, 3 counts Felony Petit Theft