Prosecutors: Erica Jenkins mad that Nikko took 'first kill' away from her - Omaha.com
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'brien@owh.com    |   402-444-3100    |  

Maggie is a cops and breaking news reporter for Omaha.com.

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