Prosecutors: Erica Jenkins mad that Nikko took 'first kill' away from her -
Published Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 12:00 am / Updated at 1:54 am
Prosecutors: Erica Jenkins mad that Nikko took 'first kill' away from her

The robbery was Curtis Bradford's idea.

Bradford and prison buddy Nikko Jenkins rounded up Nikko's sisters, Erica Jenkins and Lori Sayles, the evening of Aug. 18. The plan was to do a “lick,” or robbery, near 18th and Clark Streets.

Douglas County prosecutors said Friday that Sayles stayed in the car as Bradford and her older siblings got out. Each was armed, and they disappeared from sight.

A few minutes later, Sayles heard gunshots.

Nikko and Erica Jenkins returned to the car, Erica carrying Bradford's gun.

Not far away, Bradford lay dead. Prosecutors say the brother and sister killed him execution-style, each shooting him in the back of the head.

Erica Jenkins will stand trial on a charge of first-degree murder in the Bradford killing.

Nikko Jenkins previously was ordered to stand trial on four counts of first-degree murder in connection with four August slayings, including Bradford, that prosecutors say followed his July 30 release from prison. He faces the possibility of the death penalty if convicted.

Throughout the nearly three-hour preliminary hearing, Erica Jenkins sat silent. She wore a yellow jumpsuit usually donned by inmates who are segregated from the general jail population.

Prosecutors and investigators provided a detailed accounting of the killings. They said the Bradford slaying led to some sibling rivalry.

A detective testified that Erica Jenkins fired the first shot and Nikko Jenkins the second.

Nikko's shot proved to be the fatal one, prompting his sister to complain that her brother “stole her first kill from her,'' said Omaha Police Detective Dave Schneider.

Erica Jenkins had been nervous about Bradford joining them in the robbery, because he was a friend of her estranged husband's, Schneider said.

But the three ultimately went to 1804 N. 18th St.

Sayles, 18, told police that she heard the gunfire and that her siblings returned to the car without Bradford.

When Nikko Jenkins, 27, told Sayles to drive, she got upset.

Nikko turned to Erica: “I should just shoot (Sayles),” Sayles told investigators.

Bradford's body was found outside a detached garage early Aug. 19 by a man returning home from work.

Besides the murder charge in the Bradford case, Erica Jenkins will be tried on two counts of criminal conspiracy — one for her alleged role in the Aug. 11 slayings of Jorge Cajiga-­Ruiz and Juan Uribe-Pena, the other in connection with the Aug. 21 shooting death of Andrea Kruger.

Erica also will be tried on an unrelated robbery charge, assault of a corrections officer and assault of a fellow inmate.

Other family members charged in the slayings:

— Sayles, accessory to the Bradford slaying.

— Lori Jenkins, the siblings' mother, two federal counts of being a felon in possession of ammunition for allegedly buying ammo used in the killings and being an accessory after the Bradford slaying.

— Warren Levering, an uncle, first-degree murder in the Kruger killing.

— Christine Bordeaux, a cousin, conspiracy to commit robbery in the Aug. 11 slayings at Spring Lake Park.

According to court testimony:

In the Spring Lake Park killings, Bordeaux told police that Erica Jenkins liked to rob Latino men in South Omaha because she thought they carried lots of money, Schneider said.

Bordeaux and Erica Jenkins teamed up to lure Cajiga-­Ruiz and Uribe-Pena to the park after 2 a.m. on the pretext of sex, he said.

Bordeaux told investigators that Nikko Jenkins pulled up in the park in a separate car. He stepped out carrying a shotgun and immediately opened fire on the men, Schneider said.

In the Kruger slaying, Nikko and Erica Jenkins, Bordeaux and Levering were driving around looking for a car to steal.

The family believed that people with money were in town for the Aug. 20 Lil' Wayne concert and they wanted a second car to use to rob and carjack concertgoers.

Bordeaux, who has cooperated with authorities, told investigators that Erica Jenkins was driving a 2005 Ford Taurus and her brother was sitting behind her. Bordeaux was in the front passenger seat, and Levering was in the back. The four didn't want to keep using the Taurus because it was registered to one of Nikko's girlfriends.

Kruger, who was on her way home from work, stopped for fast food. Erica Jenkins spotted her and recommended that the group choose her car, a gold 2012 Chevrolet Traverse.

Erica Jenkins positioned the Taurus in front of Kruger’s Traverse as both vehicles, northbound on 168th Street, approached the stop sign at Fort Street, Bordeaux told investigators.

Nikko Jenkins and Levering jumped out of the Taurus and rushed toward the Traverse.

Nikko pulled Kruger out of the SUV and threw her to the ground.

Nikko shot Kruger four times — twice in the head, once in the neck and once in the shoulder, according to prosecutors. Erica Jenkins plugged her ears to drown out the shots, said Detective Jennifer Tinsley of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

As she raced away in the Taurus, Erica phoned Nikko, who was in Kruger's SUV. She was upset at her brother for “leaving the body in the road, not in the ditch,” Tinsley said.

Contact the writer: Maggie O'Brien

maggie.o'    |   402-444-3100    |  

Maggie is a cops and breaking news reporter for

Read more related stories
Metro transit recommends streetcar, rapid-transit bus line for Omaha
6-mile stretch of Highway 75 is the road not taken
After decades looking in, Republican Dan Frei seeks chance to take action
Cause of Omaha power outage along Regency Parkway unclear
Ben Sasse, Shane Osborn try to pin label of D.C. insider on each other
Curious about government salaries? Look no further
Easter Sunday temperatures climb into 80s in Omaha area
Omaha police investigate two nonfatal shootings
City Council to vote on adding Bluffs pedestrian safety lights
Sole big donor to Beau McCoy says he expects nothing in return
Convicted killer Nikko Jenkins might await his sentence in prison
Kelly: 70 years after a deadly D-Day rehearsal, Omahan, WWII vet will return to Europe
Midlands runners ready for Boston Marathon
Families from area shelters treated to meal at Old Chicago
Firefighters battle brush fire near Fontenelle Forest
Sioux City riverboat casino prepares to close, still hoping to be saved
Omaha high schoolers to help canvass for Heartland 2050
Mizzou alumni aim to attract veterinary students to Henry Doorly Zoo
Grant ensures that Sioux City can start building children's museum
Party looks to 'nudge' women into public office in Iowa
For birthday, Brownell-Talbot student opts to give, not get
Two taken to hospital after fire at Benson home
Grace: Pipe organ concert a tribute to couple's enduring love
Omaha-area jails and ERs new front line in battling mental illness
Civil rights hearing to consider voting policies in Midwest
< >
Kelly: 70 years after a deadly D-Day rehearsal, Omahan, WWII vet will return to Europe
A World War II veteran from Omaha will return this week to Europe to commemorate a tragedy in the run-up to D-Day.
Dickson’s Week in Review, April 13-19
On Twitter some guy tweeted that the spring game isn’t taken as seriously as a regular-season contest. What was your first clue? When the head coach entered waving a cat aloft?
Kelly: A California university president returns to her Nebraska roots on Ivy Day
The main speaker at today's Ivy Day celebration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a college president who grew up roping calves and earned her Ph.D. at the prestigious Oxford University in England.
Breaking Brad: Stuck in a claw machine? You get no Easter candy
I know of one kid in Lincoln who will be receiving a lump of coal from the Easter Bunny, just as soon as he's extricated from that bowling alley claw machine.
Breaking Brad: Mountain lion season's over, but the bunny's fair game!
Thursday was the last day of a Nebraska Legislature session. Before leaving town, legislators passed a bill to hold a lottery to hunt the Easter Bunny.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Meridian Med Spa
50% Off Botox®, Botox® Bridal Party, Fillers and Peels
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »