Tuesday, February 20, 2018
News Roundup

Murder trial in 2006 slayings of Wesley Chapel teens put on hold again

DADE CITY — Tyree Jenkins, who was scheduled to be tried this week in the 2006 shootings of two Wesley Chapel teens, won't get his day in court anytime soon.

Jenkins' attorneys asked for a last-minute delay on Friday, which Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa initially denied but granted later Friday evening. The new trial date is Aug. 11.

Defense attorney Bjorn Brunvand could not be reached for comment.

Jenkins, now 28, is one of two defendants in the shootings of 17-year-old Derek Pieper and 18-year-old Raymond Veluz, whose bodies were found lying face down on Harris Hill Road. Witnesses said Pieper and Veluz were trying to buy marijuana. Pieper, who had met Jenkins' co-defendant, Luc Pierre-Charles, at school, had dabbled in drugs, but had changed his lifestyle, authorities said. His mother disputes that claim, saying Pieper was never into drugs but merely gave Pierre-Charles rides after befriending him at school.

Pierre-Charles, whose conviction was overturned by an appeals court, is set to be re-tried April 7. In 2009, a jury convicted Pierre-Charles, who received a life sentence. However, an appeals court overturned that conviction and granted him a new trial, saying jurors should not have been allowed to see a video of his brother discussing the case with his parents in an interview room. Rules prevent prosecutors from seeking death a second time.

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