Tampa murder trial begins for Pasco man accused in two other slayings

TAMPA — A man accused in the 2006 slayings of two Wesley Chapel teenagers will stand trial in Hills­borough County this week in an unrelated murder in which he faces life in prison.

Tyree A. Jenkins, is accused of murdering Willie Cherry III on April 8, 2008, outside Salem's Gyro Restaurant, 4004 E Hillsborough Ave. Cherry was shot in the chest while trying to intervene as his brother, Adrian Cherry, was robbed at gunpoint.

Attorneys expect opening statements to begin in Hillsborough court today.

Jenkins was arrested in July 2008, on a first-degree murder warrant in the killings of Wesley Chapel High School students Derek Pieper and Raymond Veluz.

Pieper, 17, and Veluz, 18, were found dead off Harris Hill Road on July 28, 2006. Both had been shot in the back.

The co-defendant in that case, Luc Pierre-Charles Jr., was convicted of the murders after a two-week trial in 2009. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Jenkins has not yet faced a jury in that case.

Tampa murder trial begins for Pasco man accused in two other slayings 07/19/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 23, 2010 12:21am]

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