Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Trial to begin for man accused in 2006 killings of two Wesley Chapel teens

A juror’s remarks had stalled the 2012 trial of Tyree Jenkins, one of two men accused.

A juror’s remarks had stalled the 2012 trial of Tyree Jenkins, one of two men accused.

DADE CITY — Stalled two years ago because of a chatty prospective juror, the trial for one of two men accused in the 2006 roadside execution-style killings of two Wesley Chapel teens is set to begin Monday.

Tyree Jenkins, now 28, is one of two co-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.

Witnesses say Pieper met Veluz, newly arrived from New York, at a party. When Veluz asked Pieper if he knew where he could find marijuana, Pieper contacted Pierre-Charles' brother. Pieper and Veluz ended up in a car with Jenkins and Pierre-Charles later that evening.

Prosecutors say the teens were shot because Pierre-Charles believed Pieper was helping rival drug dealers.

Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Pierre-Charles and Jenkins. In 2009, a jury convicted Pierre-Charles, who received a life sentence. However, an appeals court overturned that conviction and granted Pierre-Charles 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. Pierre-Charles' retrial is tentatively set for April 7. Rules prevent prosecutors from seeking death a second time.

If Jenkins is convicted of first-degree murder in this case, he could face the death penalty. He is currently serving a life sentence for a Tampa murder that took place in 2008.

A judge ruled in 2012 that jurors won't get to hear about that case unless defense attorneys bring up Jenkins' character.

It was that case that halted the 2012 trial, when a prospective juror was overheard discussing it in the jury room. Circuit Judge Susan Gardner tossed out the entire panel and later ordered the juror into court to explain. However, she could not determine whether the juror's comments came before or after the panel was told not to discuss the case, so she let him go and warned him to use caution if he were ever called for jury duty again.

Postponing the trial, prosecutor said, cost taxpayers about $12,000 because many witnesses had to be brought in from out of state.

Trial to begin for man accused in 2006 killings of two Wesley Chapel teens 02/27/14 [Last modified: Friday, February 28, 2014 7:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. Trump associate Roger Stone to talk to House panel in Russia probe

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — The House intelligence panel will interview two of President Donald Trump's associates behind closed doors this week as congressional committees step up their investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

    Roger Stone talks to reporters outside a courtroom in New York this past March. The House intelligence panel will interview Stone behind closed doors Tuesday as congressional committees step up their investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Fformer Trump staffer Boris Epshteyn also will talk to the House panel. [Associated Press]
  3. Pinellas commission set to discuss next budget, licensing board

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Commission will be busy on Tuesday.

  4. Romano: Sure, let's trust a board with no professionalism, transparency or ethics

    Local Government

    So, if you've been following the bureaucratic carnage:

  5. St. Petersburg mayor's debate: Rick vs. Rick 2.0 starts tonight

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker are getting back together.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker (left) is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman in St. Petersburg's mayoral election. These photos were taken during the July 25 televised debate. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]