Dear Readers,

The coronavirus pandemic has caused widespread disruption to the lives of everyone in Tampa Bay and to so many businesses in our community. Here at the Tampa Bay Times, we continue to provide free, up-to-date information at as a public service. But we need your help. Please consider supporting us by subscribing or donating, and by sharing our work. Thank you.

  1. News
  2. /
  3. Crime

Victim in St. Pete shopping center death was kicked for 79 minutes, police say

Police say the victim, Scott Jenks, pleaded with a man he called his friend, Kristoff King, to stop kicking him. All of it was captured on surveillance video, police say.
St. Petersburg police say Kristoff A. King, left, faces a murder charge in connection with the death of Scott Jenks, 48, whose body was found Tuesday morning in the parking lot of the Northgate Center parking lot at 1144 94th Ave. N [Alachua County Sheriff's Office]

ST. PETERSBURG — When police found Scott Jenks’ body on the early morning of Jan. 14, laid out in a shopping center’s parking lot, they didn’t immediately know how he died.

But looking at the scene, they could tell he had been brutally attacked.

Indeed, detectives would soon find surveillance video from a nearby business that showed Jenks’ assailant kicked him for an hour and 19 minutes — during which Jenks pleaded with him to stop.

The particularly violent attack is outlined in an arrest affidavit filed this week against Kristoff King, 36, who was arrested in Alachua County two days after Jenks’ murder. King was extradited to Pinellas County and booked into the county jail on a first-degree murder charge this week.

Jenks’ body was discovered at 4:40 a.m. on Jan. 14 at Northgate Center, 1144 94th Ave N. A Sports Bar and Grill employee found him in the parking lot and called 911.

The employee identified Jenks and King, saying both were regulars at the bar. Security camera footage from several businesses in the plaza show Jenks and King leave Sports Bar and Grill around 3 a.m.

King beat Jenks, 48, for an hour and 19 minutes, based on the start and stop times in the video footage, according to police. Officers found footprints on Jenks’ torso and footprints in his blood around the scene.

Jenks pleaded with King to stop, saying “Kris I love you we are friends,” according to officers. King responded by continuing to beat him and yelling, asking if he wanted to “die on the ground,” police said.

He also yelled comments about Jenks’ race that officers say is “indicative of a hate crime,” though it has not been charged as such and a motive for the attack is not made clear in the arrest affidavit..

A native of the Bahamas, King has an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold on him as well.