Man sentenced to 15 years in death of infant son
An Itasca County man who pled guilty to a manslaughter charge last month was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Emery James Jenkins, 39, of rural Deer River, received the maximum sentence for first-degree manslaughter Wednesday after entering an Alford plea in July to a charge of first-degree manslaughter in the October 2014 death of his 2½-month-old son, Joseph. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit the act, but admits that sufficient evidence exists that would allow the prosecution to convince a judge or jury of his guilt.
Authorities said Joseph Jenkins suffered from a number of blunt-force trauma injuries, cuts and bites, and that his father refused to bring him to a scheduled medical appointment because of the injuries.
Jenkins was on trial early this year, facing life in prison if convicted on a first-degree murder charge, but Judge Korey Wahwassuck ordered a mistrial in the case's second week when a defense witness was unavailable to testify due to a medical condition.
The amended manslaughter charge states that jenkins caused the death of his son while committing the crime of malicious punishment of a child.
A criminal complaint alleged that Jenkins bit the child multiple times because he wouldn't stop crying and he refused to allow the boy to go to a scheduled medical appointment because of the injuries. Joseph Jenkins also suffered blunt force trauma, including a skull fracture and fractured ribs, as well as cuts and other injuries to his chest, abdomen, hands, fingers, feet and toes, according to a medical examiner's report.