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News Coverage Regarding
The Homicide and Murder Trials
of William Jenkins
August 12, 1997
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From the Associated Press newswire. August 13, 1997
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Three people have been charged in the slaying of a 16-year-old boy
who was shot to death during a holdup at a suburban Richmond fast food restaurant, police
William Jenkins had worked at the Bullets restaurant just two days when he was killed
Tuesday about 11 p.m., Henrico County police said. Police found his body in the restaurant
[Male], 23, of Richmond, was charged with capital murder, robbery and use of a firearm,
police communications officer Bob Baughn said Wednesday.
[Female A], 18, of Richmond, and a 17-year-old girl were charged with murder, robbery and
use of a firearm, Baughn said.
Police spotted the suspects a few blocks from the restaurant
The following articles originally appeared in the Richmond
Times-Dispatch on the dates noted.
Thursday, August 14, 1997
Gunman accosted teen-ager in lot
Bullets Restaurant worker fatally shot
BY MARK BOWES
Times-Dispatch Staff Writer
A 16-year-old Henrico County boy shot to death at Bullets Restaurant late Tuesday was
accosted in the parking lot by a gunman, who used the teen to get inside the restaurant
and rob it about 40 minutes after closing, police said yesterday.
William Benjamin Jenkins, who had moved back to Richmond in May from a two-year stay in
Tennessee, was fatally shot about 10:40 p.m. in the east-side doorway of the restaurant at
7712 W. Broad St.
Within minutes, Henrico patrol officers swarmed the area and arrested three suspects as
they were leaving the Cardinal Forest Apartment complex behind the restaurant at Shrader
and Cardinal roads, police said. One of the three had lived in the complex last year,
according to court records.
Police arrested [male], 23, of ... Chesterfield County; [female A], 18, of the same
address; and a 17-year-old girl whose name was withheld because of her age but who also
listed the [same address].
[23 year old male] was charged with capital murder, robbery and two counts of using a
firearm in a felony. [18 year old female] and the 17-year-old were each charged with
first-degree murder, robbery and two firearm counts.
Jenkins, who was working his second day at Bullets, was the son of Bill Jenkins, an
assistant professor of speech and drama at Virginia Union University and a well-known
Richmond theater set designer.
Reached yesterday, Bill Jenkins said his son was excited about landing his first real job
in Richmond. He spent his first workday washing dishes.
The teen, who was to have celebrated his 17th birthday next month, planned to attend
Hermitage High School this fall as a senior.
''He's one of those good, bright kids,'' the elder Jenkins said. ''Like every teen-ager,
he wanted to be a rock star . . . and he had the potential to be a very good artist.''
The robbery and shooting occurred about 10:40 p.m. as assistant manager [W]... was setting
the building's alarm. [W], Jenkins and another teen-age boy were the only employees on
A man, armed with a semiautomatic pistol, apparently approached Jenkins in the parking lot
as he was leaving for the night.
The man ''tried to force his way back in the (restaurant), using the boy as a ploy,'' said
Henrico police Capt. Gary Bise.
What sparked the shooting remains unclear. Jenkins was shot at least once ''above the
shoulders'' while standing in the doorway.
Another employee outside the restaurant dialed 911 from a pay phone. After obtaining a
partial description of a Nissan Maxima rental car, patrolmen George Minor, Billy Gill and
Allen Wilson stopped it as it was attempting to leave Cardinal Forest Apartments, Lt. Jan
[23 year old male] had lived briefly in Cardinal Forest last year when he was arrested on
a marijuana possession charge.
[23 year old male and female A] were being held without bond in the Henrico and Hanover
jails, respectively, pending hearings Sept. 29 in Henrico Juvenile and Domestic Relations
District Court and Oct. 2 in Henrico General District Court. Bond and court information on
the juvenile was unavailable.
[23 year old male] has a petty criminal record in Chesterfield. In the past two years, he
has been charged with credit card theft, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of
marijuana and with being a habitual traffic offender.
Stem said police plan to compare the Bullets robbery with other unsolved holdups that have
occurred in the Richmond area.
Jenkins' death brings Henrico's homicide count this year to 17, equal to last year's
With 4 1/2 months left this year, Henrico is three homicides shy of breaking its record.
Friday, August 15, 1997
Fund is named for slain teen
The family of 16-year-old William B. Jenkins, who was killed Tuesday during a robbery at a
West Broad Street restaurant, has established a memorial scholarship fund.
The family suggests contributions to the William Jenkins Memorial Scholarship Fund, in
care of The Community Foundadtion, 1025 Boulders Parkway, Suite 405, Richmond, Va. 23225.
Foundation president Darcy Oman said the money will be for post-secondary educational
scholarships for young people in the Richmond area.
Jenkins was fatally wounded about 10:40 p.m. Tuesday by a gunman who accosted him in the
parking lot of the Bullets Restaurant at 7712 W. Broad St. The man used Jenkins to force
his way inside and rob the assistant manager about 40 minutes after closing.
A funeral for Jenkins, who was reared in Highland Springs, will be held Saturday at 11
a.m. at the West End Assembly of God. He will be buried at 5 p.m. at Mount Zion Methodist
Church in Schuyler.
Saturday, August 16, 1997
Bullets robbery compared to similar one in March
BY MARK BOWES
Times-Dispatch Staff Writer
The Bullets restaurant where a 16-year-old employee was shot to death Tuesday was robbed
in similar fashion in March and police are investigating whether one of three suspects
charged in the recent robbery also was involved in the earlier crime.
Investigators are comparing the March 16 holdup of Bullets at 7712 W. Broad St. with
Tuesday's robbery, both of which occurred after the restaurant closed and involved three
suspects. The first robbery was reported at 10:30 p.m., the second at about 10:40 p.m.
''The way the (first) robbery was carried out was different, but that doesn't necessarily
mean anything,'' said Henrico police Capt. Gary Bise.
A young man and two teen-age girls have been charged in Tuesday's robbery and slaying,
which resulted in the fatal shooting of employee William B. Jenkins. Three males were
involved in the earlier holdup, although one of them generally matches the description of
the man charged in Tuesday's crime, according to police reports.
[Male], 23, who goes by the nickname ''Wild Child,'' is accused of pulling the trigger in
Tuesday's holdup and slaying. His two alleged accomplices -- [female A], 18; and a
17-year-old girl whose name has been withheld -- are believed to have waited outside the
restaurant during the robbery, police said.
In Tuesday's robbery, a gunman accosted Jenkins in the parking lot while he was waiting
for a ride home. The suspect used the boy to get inside through an east side door of the
restaurant, which had closed about 40 minutes earlier.
Once inside, the gunman robbed assistant manager [W]... of an undisclosed amount of money,
and then shot Jenkins as he was standing near the doorway, police said. Police haven't
determined what sparked the gunfire.
Another employee, a teen-age boy, was waiting outside on the west side of the building for
his mother to pick him up. When he realized something was amiss, he dialed 911 from a
nearby pay phone.
Police arrived in minutes and arrested [male] and the two teen-agers as they were leaving
the Cardinal Forest Apartments behind Bullets at Shrader and Cardinal roads.
In the March 16 robbery, police say a gunman entered the restaurant, put a gun in an
employee's face and ordered him to the ground. He demanded money and threatened to shoot
the employee if he turned around, according to a police narrative of the robbery.
[The three suspects lived at the same address]; the three apparently had recently moved
there, police said.
Police said [male], an Army veteran who attended high school in Maryland, recently was
released from jail on a conviction of driving on a suspended operator's license. In the
last two years, he has been charged with several minor criminal offenses in Chesterfield,
including credit card theft, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of marijuana with
intent to distribute it.
He recently was charged with being a habitual traffic offender. He has numerous traffic
convictions, including several for driving on a suspended operator's license.
According to court records, [male] has lived at several locations in the last two years,
including a residence at Cardinal Forest Apartments in the 4700 block of Cardinal Court.
He lived there at the time of his drug arrest on Nov. 9, court records show.
Jenkins, the boy shot in Tuesday's holdup, was to be buried today at Mount Zion United
Methodist Church in Schuyler. He grew up in the Highland Springs area and attended
Highland Springs Elementary School, Fairfield Middle School and his freshman year at
Highland Springs High School.
About two years ago, he and his two siblings moved to ..., Tenn., with their mother,
Katherine Hedian, who accepted a position there as a certified nurse midwife. The family
returned in March after Hedian completed her work there, said Bill Jenkins, William's
Jenkins and Hedian are divorced.
The elder Jenkins, an assistant professor of speech and drama at Virginia Union University
and a Richmond theater set designer, said he and his son had become ''good friends'' since
the boy's return to Richmond.
''He liked working backstage on local theater productions with me -- often,'' Jenkins
''I was working on a production of Oliver . . . down at the Empire Theater this summer,
and William came to work with me pretty much every day,'' he added. ''And I just treasure
the time that he and I spent together.''
The elder Jenkins said his son enjoyed drawing and sketching, playing the guitar and
spending time outdoors.
''He had aspirations for playing in a band, writing his own songs,'' the elder Jenkins
said. ''He spoke about that a lot. And he had great potential as an artist, as far as I'm
Jenkins described his son as a ''popular kid'' who made friends easily.
''He had a lot of friends here and he has a lot of friends in Tennessee who will be coming
up for the funeral,'' Jenkins said.
''He was a very supportive individual for his friends,'' he added. ''And they appreciated
him for that. He lived a very simple and unpretentious life.''
Tuesday, September 30, 1997
Manager, defendant tell of fatal holdup
BY MARK BOWES
Times-Dispatch Staff Writer
Bullets Restaurant manager [W] first thought someone was playing a joke when one of her
employees, 16-year-old William B. Jenkins, knocked on a side door after the restaurant had
closed and asked to be let inside.
When she opened the door, [she] saw a figure behind Jenkins holding an object near the
''I said, 'You got to stop playing around,' '' [she] testified during a preliminary
hearing yesterday in Henrico County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
She soon realized it was no joke.
''We're not playing, this is a holdup,'' a voice announced, she testified.
In the instant it took her to scream, Jenkins was fatally shot in the neck and collapsed
in the doorway, she said. It was the teen's second day on the job.
The gunman, with a Bullets T-shirt wrapped around his face, rushed inside and forced [her]
to open a safe, she testified. He took $1,787 and [her] purse before fleeing to a getaway
car parked behind the restaurant, where his two teen-age accomplices, both girls, were
waiting, authorities testified yesterday.
Police swarmed the area and arrested [female A], 18, [male]..., 23, and [female B], 17,
Police recovered [W's] pocketbook with ''money flowing out of it'' on the floorboard of
their rental car, forensics Detective T.M. Tiller testified.
On the strength of yesterday's testimony, Henrico Judge Robert J. Smith certified to a
grand jury murder and firearm charges against all three suspects. In addition, he
certified robbery and a second firearm charge against [female A].
On Thursday, [male and female A] are scheduled to appear in Henrico General District Court
on identical robbery and firearm charges.
The three shared an apartment in ... Chesterfield County, authorities said.
Yesterday, [female A] told how she, [male and female B] plotted to rob the restaurant on
[Female A], who testified for the prosecution with the hope of receiving leniency, told
the court she didn't realize they were going to rob the place until they pulled onto a
gravel drive behind the restaurant at 7712 W. Broad St. She said the holdup was [male and
female B's] idea.
''I thought we were going to get something to eat,'' [she] testified. But she said she
wasn't surprised when they announced their plans to rob the restaurant.
[She] said they had considered robbing a woman they saw on the street earlier that
evening, but they aborted the plan after the woman got into her car once they pulled
[Female A], who at times was tearful and visibly frightened, told how [male] assigned each
of them a task that led to the robbery.
[Female B], she testified, was instructed to count the number of employees inside the
restaurant after asking to use the bathroom. When [she] returned, [female A's] job was to
get employees to open the door by knocking and asking for a cup of ice water. [Male] was
then to rush inside, she said.
But the plan fizzled when employees told [female A] to go to the front take-out window,
she said. She returned to the car with the ice water.
[She] said the three of them then sat in the car for 30 minutes to an hour, plotting their
next move. During the wait, [She] said [male] asked her to hold a .380-caliber,
semiautomatic pistol. [She] said [female B] had obtained the gun from her boyfriend.
[She] testified that about 10:40 p.m., [male] took the gun and walked to the restaurant.
Police said Jenkins was waiting outside for a ride home when [male] accosted him at
gunpoint and forced him to the restaurant's side door. [W.], the manager, said she heard a
knock and then Jenkins say, ''Open up. It's me.''
After opening the door and hearing someone announce a holdup, [W.] said her screams were
quickly followed by a gunshot. She said she reached down to Jenkins after he collapsed in
the doorway. He was shot in the left side of the neck and died at the scene.
The gunman then ordered [W.] to open the restaurant's safe, but it took her several tries
to do so. She said the gunman emptied four money trays and fled.
[W.] said she never saw the gunman's face, but the yellow T-shirt she said he was wearing
matches the shirt police say [male] was wearing the night of the robbery.
[Female A] testified that she heard a gunshot and saw [male] run back to their car with a
woman's pocketbook. He shouted for them to drive away, and [female B], who was behind the
wheel, sped off, she said.
Another employee on the other side of the building, who was waiting for a ride, dialed 911
on a pay phone after realizing something was amiss. Police officers arrested the suspects
within minutes as they were leaving the Cardinal Forest Apartment complex behind the
restaurant at Shrader and Cardinal roads.
[Male] once lived in the Cardinal Forest Apartments behind the restaurant, according to
authorities and court records.
[Female A], who testified yesterday that she has robbed before, said [male] told her that
he and his brother had robbed, or had planned to rob, the same Bullets restaurant before
the Aug. 12 holdup. Police are investigating whether [male] was involved in the March 16
holdup of the restaurant, which was robbed in similar fashion by three males.
Jenkins,... was the son of Bill Jenkins, an assistant professor of speech and drama at
Virginia Union University and a free-lance set designer for local professional theaters.
The teen's mother, Katherine Hedian, is a certified nurse and midwife.
(c) 1997, Richmond Newspapers Inc.
Friday, October 3, 1997
Judge certifies two charges in homicide
A judge yesterday certified robbery and firearm charges against a Chesterfield County man
accused of fatally shooting a 16-year-old Bullets Restaurant employee during a holdup Aug.
[Male] ''Wild Child'' ..., 23, waived his preliminary hearing on the charges during a
brief appearance in Henrico General District Court.
A hearing for co-defendant [female A], 18, was continued to Oct. 14. She also is expected
to waive her hearing, said Henrico Commonwealth's Attorney Toby Vick.
On Monday, a Henrico Juvenile District Court judge certified murder and firearm charges
against [male and female A] and a third defendant, [female B], 17, after an hourlong
hearing in which [female A] testified for the prosecution.
[She] described how the three planned the robbery, which ended in their arrests a short
Another witness, Bullets Manager [W.], testified that the gunman forced his way inside the
restaurant at 7712 W. Broad St. and fatally shot 18-year-old William B. Jenkins. The
gunman had accosted Jenkins in the parking lot as Jenkins was waiting for his ride home
and had used Jenkins to get inside the closed restaurant, police said.
The three defendants were arrested within minutes of the 10:40 p.m. robbery as they
attempted to drive from the scene. Police recovered the gun, [W's] purse and $1,787 taken
from the restaurant.
A Henrico Circuit Court grand jury will consider the charges against the trio Nov. 10.
Wednesday, January 14, 1998
Woman, 19, pleads guilty to murder
Restaurant worker shot during robbery
[Female A], 19, pleaded guilty yesterday to murder and robbery for her part in the Aug. 12
robbery of a Bullets restaurant that resulted in the killing of a 16-year-old employee,
William B. Jenkins.
Henrico County Circuit Judge Buford M. Parsons Jr. scheduled sentencing for March 26.
Prosecutors say [she] waited in the getaway car driven by co-defendant [Female B], also
19, while the third defendant, [male] "Wild Child"..., 23, committed the robbery
and killed Jenkins with a shot to the neck.
[Male] got into the restaurant at 7712 W. Broad St. by using Jenkins, who was waiting for
a ride in the parking lot after his second day on the job. [He] forced Jenkins to knock on
a locked side door and ask fellow employees to let him in.
Earlier, authorities say, [female A] and [male] went to the door but were not admitted.
[Male] faces a capital murder charge as well as robbery and illegal-use-of-firearms
The two females are charged with first-degree murder, robbery and the accompanying
[Male] and [Female B] have pleaded not guilty and are scheduled for trials [female
B] next week and [male] on Feb. 10. [Female A] is expected to testify in both trials.
Prosecutors have made no plea agreement with [female A], except to say they will make the
judge aware of her cooperation.
February 6, 1998
Restaurant robber gets life sentence
The man accused of shooting to death a 16-year-old restaurant
employee last August will go to prison for life. 23-year-old [male] pleaded guilty this
morning to killing William Jenkins at the Bullets Restaurant on Broad Street.
A judge sentenced [him] to life in prison without parole. Two
other women were also charged in the crime.
Their court appearances are set for March.
WWBT Channel 12
Filed: Feb. 5, 1998 8:00pm
Friday, February 6, 1998
3rd suspect in slaying pleads guilty
Plea used to avoid death-penalty threat
BY TOM CAMPBELL
Times-Dispatch Staff Writer
[Male], 23, nicknamed "Wild Child," pleaded guilty to capital murder yesterday
for his part in a robbery and slaying at a Bullets fast-food restaurant last August in
exchange for a prosecutor's promise not to seek the death penalty.
[Male], who had been scheduled for trial next week, was sentenced immediately to life in
prison with no possibility of parole, said Henrico County Commonwealth's Attorney Toby
Two female co-defendants, who had already pleaded guilty separately to first-degree murder
and robbery, were expected to testify at [his] trial. They were expected to tell the jury
that [he] was the gunman who shot 16-year-old William B. Jenkins in the neck in the course
of robbing the restaurant at 7712 W. Broad St.
Jenkins, a restaurant employee who had just finished his second day on the job, was
waiting for a ride home outside the restaurant about 10:40 p.m. last Aug. 12. According to
the prosecution's case, [23 year old male] approached him with a handgun and forced him to
knock on a locked employee's entrance door and ask to come back inside.
When [W.], restaurant manager, opened the door and realized it was a robbery, she
screamed. At that instant, the gun [male] was holding went off, wounding Jenkins fatally,
according to earlier testimony at a preliminary hearing. [Male], with a Bullets T-shirt
over his face, rushed inside and forced [W.] to open a safe.
[He] took nearly $1,800 and [W.'s] purse. He fled to a car parked behind the building.
[female B], 19, was behind the wheel. [FemaleA], also 19, was a passenger. The car sped
off, but county police swarmed the area and soon captured the trio.
[Female A] pleaded guilty to murder and robbery Jan. 13 and is scheduled for sentencing
March 26. [Female B] pleaded guilty to the same charges Jan. 22 and will be sentenced
March 23. Both face up to life in prison.
Authorities say the three spent more than 30 minutes in the car in the restaurant parking
lot before [male] approached Jenkins. The three were trying to find out how many employees
were inside and how to gain entrance through the locked door, officials have said.
© 1998, Richmond Newspapers Inc.
Tuesday, March 24, 1998
Two teen-agers sentenced in Bullets robbery, slaying
BY MARK BOWES
Times-Dispatch Staff Writer
Two teen-age girls were sentenced to moderate prison terms yesterday for their roles in
the robbery of a Bullets Restaurant last summer in which a 16-year-old employee was
[Female B], who was 17 when the robbery occurred on Aug. 12, 1997, was sentenced in
Henrico Circuit Court to serve 18 years in prison on convictions of robbery, murder and
felony firearm offenses.
A co-defendant, [female A], who was 18 at the time, was sentenced to serve 14 years for
the same offenses.
A third defendant, [male], 23, was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of
parole after pleading guilty last month to capital murder and robbery charges. [He] fired
the shot that killed employee William B. Jenkins after he used Jenkins to get inside the
restaurant and rob it of more than $1,700.
Jenkins, finishing his second day on the job, was accosted as he waited outside for a ride
home after the restaurant had closed.
[Female A and female B] pleaded guilty in January. Both suggested yesterday that neither
believed [male] would actually carry out the robbery or shoot anyone.
"[He] had talked about doing these things all the time but never did it," argued
[R.], [female B's] attorney.
Henrico Commonwealth's Attorney Toby Vick said he had "no doubt" that [female A
and female B] didn't know [male] intended to kill someone. But Vick said he also had no
doubt that the women knew he had a gun, was capable of violence and intended to rob the
[Male], nicknamed Wild Child, had developed a reputation for violence. Vick said [male]
"spoke constantly of committing robberies" and on one occasion fired on a
Chesterfield County police cruiser.
Although [female A and female B] played lesser roles in the robbery, authori-ties said
both helped [male] "case" the restaurant.
[Female B], according to testimony, was instructed to count the number of employees inside
the restaurant after asking to use the bathroom. [Female A's] job was to get employees to
open the door by knocking and asking for a cup of ice water. But the plan fizzled when
employees told [her] to go to the front take-out window.
In addition, [female B] drove the getaway vehicle after the robbery and made her
boyfriend's .380-caliber pistol available to [male] to commit the crime.
[R.] yesterday described [female B] as an emotionally unstable young woman whose father
abandoned her early in life, and whose mother was sent to prison for cocaine possession
when [she] was 16. She became a ward of the state and was sexually abused while living
with a foster family for about seven months.
The Chesterfield Social Services Department then placed her in an Independent Living
program, where she was given an apartment and an allowance for living expenses. She became
acquainted with [female A and male], and she allowed them to move in without the
permission or knowledge of social service workers.
Lawyer [J.] said [female A's] parents divorced when she was 8 and her father gained
custody; [her] mother had little to do with her. [She] dropped out of school at 16 and
began working for her father, a barber, [J.] said.
Bill Jenkins, the victim's father, described the punishment the teens received as a
"We need to make an effort to let kids [like [female A and female B]] know there is
hope and that someone cares about them," Jenkins said. "We have to give them a
much stronger message of hope."
© 1998, Richmond Newspapers Inc.
- There will be no more court appearances related to William's death.
By pleading guilty, the defendants waived their right to appeal. Virginia is a no-parole
state. As a result, the defendants will serve all of their sentences. We hope and pray
that they will find some measure of faith, understanding, and purpose while they are
behind bars. I will pray for them every day, and I hope that one day, they may be able to
pray for me.
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