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Carman Major JENKINS





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Dismemberment - The body was never found - Used body parts to extort money
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: April 6, 2008
Date of arrest: 5 days after
Date of birth: 1987
Victim profile: Mekole Michelle Harris, 34
Method of murder: Strangulation with a cable cord
Location: Greenville County, South Carolina, USA
Status: Sentenced to 50 years in prison on March 29, 2012. Sentence reduced to 40 years in prison on June 10, 2013
photo gallery

Woman's sentence reduced in death, dismemberment case

By Casey Vaughn -

June 10, 2013

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - The woman who pleaded guilty to killing and dismembering another woman in 2008 had her 50-year sentence reduced in an Upstate courtroom on Monday.

Carman Jenkins was in court requesting the reduction after she pleaded guilty to murder in 2012. A judge reduced her sentence to 40 years, according to FOX Carolina crews in court.

Investigators said Jenkins and her husband killed Mekole Harris and cut up her body in April 2008 to send a message to another woman, their former roommate, who had a relationship with them. The Jenkins claimed the roommate owed them $10,000, according to investigators.

Following her arrest, prosecutors said Jenkins made a deal with the solicitor's office that if she led them to the rest of Harris' body, in return, they would not seek the death penalty against her.

On Monday, Solicitor Walt Wilkins said the prosecution needed her testimony to help in the conviction of her husband Clarence Jenkins Jr. He said they believe she was truthful and fully explained their actions, so they her sentence reduction was a benefit for her cooperation.

Carman Jenkins testified against her husband, describing how they killed Harris and what they did with her body. She said that her husband pretended to be a police officer, convincing Harris that he would keep her out of jail if she helped them. She said they tied Harris up, and then made her call Davis' family to extort $10,000 from them.

Harris was tied up for about a day before the couple killed her, Carman Jenkins testified. She said they then chopped off Harris's hands and feet, took her body to Paris Mountain and burned it.

Less than a month after Carman Jenkins was sentenced to 50 years in prison, a jury found her husband, Clarence Jenkins Jr., guilty. He was sentenced to life in prison.

"Hopefully that the victim's family still feels some sort of justice with a 40-year sentence for her and a life sentence for Clarence Jenkins," Wilkins said.

Prior to Monday's sentence reduction, Carman Jenkins' projected release date from prison was 2058, according to the Department of Corrections website.


Clarence Jenkins Sentenced to LWOP in 2008 SC Slaying of Mekole Michelle Harris

April 14, 2012

Greenville couple's trial in dismemberment case could begin this summer.

Three years ago this week, married couple Clarence and Carman Jenkins were arrested and accused of dismembering a woman in what police say was an ill-fated attempt to extort thousands of dollars from another person the woman didn't know.

The couple has sat in jail since, awaiting a death penalty trial that has seen delay after delay, with three different judges, two large binders weighted with legal filings and a new chief prosecutor who three months into the job says he is preparing to lead the case.

Even so, 13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins said the trial should be set for sometime this summer.

“We're trying to move it forward as fast as we can,” Wilkins told The Greenville News.

The two will face the possibility of a death sentence together, each represented by their own set of lawyers, with interests that will at times conflict as the trial progresses.

Court filings offer little evidence of impending resolution in the presumed killing of 34-year-old Mekole Michelle Harris, whose body was never found but whose severed hands and feet, police say, were found in trash bags at the doorsteps of two separate Cleveland Street-area residences in April 2008.

The last document submitted into either Jenkins' file is an April 2010 order by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal assigning the case to Circuit Judge Ned Miller, the third judge to preside over the case.

The trial had been scheduled twice, the latest in November 2009 when a jury was poised to be selected and lawyers haggled over issues such as changing the venue, whether to bar anyone involved in the case from speaking about it, requests to delay the trial to hire forensic experts and whether graphic pictures should be shown to a jury.

The trial will be the first capital case to go to court in Greenville County since Benjamin Eric Case in March 2009 made a plea deal for life in prison to avoid a death sentence in the August 2006 shooting of pawn shop owner Eric Whisnant.

Clarence Jenkins, 27, and Carman Jenkins, 23, are accused of using Harris' limbs to frighten a woman into paying the couple $10,000, prosecutors said in earlier court proceedings.

Two trash bags containing Harris' hands and feet were found on the doorstep of two separate residences, one at Andover Park Apartments and another on Rose Avenue, prosecutors said.

A few days before the limbs were found, Clarence Jenkins was seen with Harris at a Labor Finders office in Greenville, prosecutors said.

An email address to respond to the alleged demand was provided along with “threatening letters” left with Harris' limbs, and in the days following the disturbing discovery, the email account was checked three times, prosecutors 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 couple's home, prosecutors said.

The library provided images of the couple checking the email address, prosecutors said.

Investigators went to the couple's home and asked Carman Jenkins to come to the Law Enforcement Center to talk about the case, prosecutors said. Jenkins told investigators that she would meet with them but that she had “child-care issues” to deal with first, prosecutors 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, prosecutors 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, prosecutors 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, prosecutors said.

The letters, demanding $10,000, had been sent to a woman who had lived with the couple for a time, prosecutors said.

The woman was connected to the residences where Harris' limbs were found, but Harris had no connection to the woman or the people at the residences, prosecutors said.


Wife testifies against husband in dismemberment trial

By Casey Vaughn -

April 11, 2012

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - The trial for a Greenville man accused of killing and dismembering a woman in 2008 continued Wednesday.

Clarence Jenkins Jr. and his wife, Carman, are accused of killing Mekole Harris in April 2008 and then cutting off her hands and feet, leaving them on two doorsteps in Greenville County.

According to investigators, the Jenkins killed Harris to send a message to their former roommate, Grace Davis, who had a relationship with them.

Carman Jenkins pleaded guilty to killing Harris and was sentenced to 50 years in prison earlier in March. Clarence Jenkins' trial began Monday.

On Wednesday, Carman Jenkins testified against her husband, describing how they killed Harris and what they did with her body.

Carman Jenkins testified before the jury that Clarence Jenkins pretended to be a police officer, convincing Harris that he would keep her out of jail if she helped them. Carman Jenkins said they tied Harris up and made her call Davis's family to try and extort $10,000 from them.

Harris was tied up for about a day before the Jenkins killed her, chopped off her hands and feet, then took her body to Paris Mountain to burn it, Carman Jenkins said.

Carman Jenkins said the couple returned home as if nothing had happened.

During the second day of Clarence Jenkins' trial, Jones took the stand to testify about what happened when she tried to move out.

She said when she was leaving, Clarence Jenkins told her that he would let her go because he, "can't kill you."

Prosecutors have said the Jenkins left parts of Harris' body at Davis's home to try and force her back into a relationship with them.

When the trial began Monday, a former Greenville police officer took the stand to testify about the discovery of Harris' body parts.

Officer Christopher Odom said he had opened the garbage bag that had a foot inside that was later identified as Harris' foot.

If convicted, Clarence Jenkins could face life in prison.


Woman pleads guilty in dismemberment death

By Cindy Landrum -

March 29, 2012

Carman Major Jenkins was an honor student, the drum major for her high school band and somebody who was trusted with the keys to Buncombe Street United Methodist Church.

On Tuesday, the 24-year-old woman became a convicted murderer after she pleaded guilty for her part in the 2008 death of Mekole Harris, whose severed feet and hands were left at two residences in the Cleveland Street area.

Her defense attorney and a psychologist blamed the change on her husband, Clarence Jenkins, a man they said was violent, controlled her every move and isolated her from her family.

She was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Before handing down the sentence, Judge Ned Miller said that her cooperation with authorities and her testimony in Clarence Jenkins’ trial which is scheduled for April 9 could lead to a reduced sentence.

Both husband and wife had faced the death penalty, but Carman Jenkins was spared after she led authorities to Harris’ remains.

During the guilty plea, her attorney said that the death penalty has also been dropped against Clarence Jenkins. Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins declined to comment on that, citing a gag order Miller had previously placed on the case.

Harris’ sister, Lisa Perry, told the judge the family wanted Jenkins to be sentenced to life in prison. She said her mother, Jessie Harris, died in 2010 of a massive stroke.

“She grieved herself to death,” she said. Her sister was a loving person who treated everyone as if they were friends, including the Jenkins, she said.

Wilkins said the Jenkins’ killed and dismembered Harris to send a message to another woman, a former roommate who had a relationship with them. Authorities said the couple claimed the woman owed them $10,000.

Wilkins said Harris was kidnapped from Labor Finders, a staffing agency on Rutherford Road.

She was killed on April 6 and her feet and hands were left at two residences with a note that said, “Grace, this is your last warning. This is what happens when somebody doesn’t follow our instructions,” Wilkins said.

Copies of the threatening notes were found in the Jenkins’ residence and DNA tests confirmed Harris’ blood was found in the house and in the couple’s van, Wilkins said.

Forensic psychologist Dr. David Price told the judge Carman Jenkins suffered from “Stockholm Syndrome,” a condition where a person empathizes with the person who is controlling him or her and helps the controller’s causes.

He compared Carman Jenkins to Patty Hearst, the daughter of a media mogul who was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, the American militant group that held her captive.

“This woman could not think for herself,” Price said of Carman Jenkins.

Beverly Major, Carman Jenkins’ mother, said her daughter was a good person who went on mission trips to work on people’s homes in South Carolina and the Bahamas. While on a mission trip to the Bahamas, her daughter taught children how to play basketball and to read, she said.

“I love her and I’m here for her,” her mother said.

David Stubbs, director of education and programs at Buncombe Street United Methodist Church, said Jenkins played basketball for the church because her church didn’t have a team for her age group.

He said she helped keep the gym open on Saturdays and eventually had a key to every part of the church. She babysat the children of church members and went on youth mission trips.

She had plans to go to college, earn a business degree and open her own restaurant, said Stubbs, who said he had lost touch with her after she was forced to quit Spartanburg Methodist College when her mother became ill and she met her husband.

“This is not Carman. This is not the girl I knew,” Stubbs said.


Judge Sets Bond In Dismemberment Murder Case


May 23, 2011

Carman Jenkins may soon be getting out of her orange jumpsuit, despite accusations of killing Mekole Harris and cutting up her body back in April 2008.

"Her body parts were found in various locations in trash bags," Lisa Perry, Mekole Harris' sister said.

During a bond hearing Monday morning, Perry asked a judge to keep Jenkins in jail.

"I think she's a threat to the community and I think she's a flight risk because her life is on the table," she said.

Perry talked about how her sister was killed and accused Carman Jenkins and Carman's husband, Clarence, of cutting up her sister to use as a threat to someone else because that person owed them money.

"Her body had been dismembered, cut-up, her feet, her hands, her toes, from what we know her ears," she told the judge.

A judge set a $100,000 bond after the solicitor told him the former solicitor made a deal with Jenkins. The deal was Jenkins would lead them to the rest of Harris' body, in return, prosecutors would not seek the death penalty against her. However, Harris' family members left the courtroom upset.

"We want her remains, so we can put her to rest," one family member said.

Not only are family members re-living Harris' murder, so are neighbors who live off Rose Avenue in Greenville.

"I recall that day clear as day," Andrea Drummond said.

She lives across the street from the house where Harris' body parts were found in trash bags.

"It was a very horrific deal for everyone," Drummond said.

Her dog, ShaCole, found Harris' body parts on the porch at the abandoned home.

"I couldn't believe it, I couldn't believe my eyes," she said.

Another trash bag with remains were found about a mile away at the Andover Apartment Complex. It's a case that still bothers Andrea Drummond and haunts Mekole Harris' family members.

The solicitor is still seeking the death penalty against Clarence Jenkins. He's expected to go to trial sometime this year.


SC Couple Charged In Severed Body Parts Case

April 12, 2008

GREENVILLE, S.C. — A South Carolina couple is accused of murdering and dismembering a woman. Clarence Jenkins Jr. and Carman Major Jenkins were charged with murder Friday for the death of Mekole Michelle Harris.

Evidence found at the couple’s home was linked to evidence found in the two places where Harris' feet and hands were found in bags on Monday, according to arrest warrants obtained by The Greenville News.

Mekole Harris' severed hands and feet were found Monday outside two homes about a mile apart.

Police said the people in the two homes were related to each other, but have not said how.

Authorities have said there was no obvious connection between Harris and where the limbs were found.

Greenville police Maj. Gary McLaughlin refused to talk about the evidence at a Friday night news conference, according to the newspaper.

A call to Greenville police by The Associated Press on Friday night was not immediately returned.

Not all of Harris' remains have been found, said McLaughlin, who appealed to the public for help.

McLaughlin refused to say how the couple knew Harris, how she was killed or any possible motive. He also refused to say if the couple picked where they left Harris' hands and feet on purpose or if any other parts of the woman's body have been located.

Clarence Jenkins, 24, and Carman Jenkins, 20, were each being held without bond Friday night in the Greenville County jail, according to the jail's Web site.

Jail officials did not know if they had attorneys and a phone listing for the couple could not be found.

Family and friends said Harris, 34, was a longtime drug addict whose four children live with relatives. Police records show that she had been convicted of drug and prostitution charges as recently as last year.

Harris' mother said her daughter said she knew her life was in danger shortly before she disappeared, but wouldn't say who wanted to kill her.

Jessie Mae Harris said her daughter was a kind person who never hurt anyone except for herself.


Severed hands, feet were addict's

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

GREENVILLE, S.C. --- The mother of a 34-year-old woman whose severed hands and feet were found in separate bags this week said Tuesday that her daughter knew her life was in danger.

"She said someone wanted to kill her," Jessie Mae Harris said of conversations she had last week with daughter Mekole Michelle Harris. "She said that she was trying to get her life straight."

Authorities on Tuesday said the body parts found a day earlier outside two homes in this city were cut from Mekole Harris, a mother of four with a lengthy criminal record whose body has yet to be found. Greenville County Coroner Parks Evans said fingerprints were used to identify the hands, and the feet also are believed to be from Ms. Harris. Mr. Evans said it's unlikely she's still alive.

Family and friends said Ms. Harris tried to be as caring as possible, but that she was a longtime drug addict whose children live with relatives.

Police records show that Ms. Harris had been convicted of drug and prostitution charges as recently as last year.

"She was a kind, loving person," her mother said. "She never hurt anybody. The only person she hurt was herself."

Jessie Mae Harris, of Fountain Inn, said she did not know who had threatened her daughter, but that she imagined the worst when authorities called her this week. "When they called here and said it was about something urgent I said, 'She gone.' "



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