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Jury selection begins for Erica Jenkins trial

Jury selection begins for Erica Jenkins trial

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Jury selection began Monday for the sister of convicted spree killer Nikko Jenkins.

Erica Jenkins is the second relative of Nikko Jenkins to go on trial for her role in connection with the killings of four Omahans in 10 days in August 2013.

Erica Jenkins, 24, faces trial this week in connection with only the Aug. 11, 2013, shooting deaths of Juan Uribe-Pena and Jorge Cajiga-Ruiz. She is not charged with murder in that case but with two counts of robbery and with conspiracy to commit robbery.

Prosecutors allege that she and her cousin Christine Bordeaux went to the Tquila Night Club in South Omaha and lured Uribe-Pena and Cajiga-Ruiz on the pretense of performing sex acts. Nikko Jenkins then used a 12-gauge shotgun to execute both with shots to the head at Spring Lake Park.

The trial is expected to pit the two women against each other. Bordeaux is expected to testify for the state and detail their actions that night.

Nikko Jenkins has pleaded no contest to the 2013 killings: the Aug. 11 deaths of Uribe-Pena and Cajiga-Ruiz, the Aug. 19 death of Curtis Bradford and the Aug. 21 death of Andrea Kruger.

Jurors, some of them wide-eyed, filed Monday morning into the fourth-floor Douglas County courtroom. Attorneys were interviewing most of the jury pool, one by one, Monday to determine whether they have been influenced by any pretrial publicity.

Judge Peter Bataillon asked jurors if any of them had read anything about the case. Twenty-one of the 28 prospective jurors raised their hands.

Erica Jenkins’ trial is expected to last all week in what promises to be a lengthy run of trials. Erica Jenkins herself could face another two trials in connection with the deaths of Bradford and Kruger.

Lori Jenkins went to trial earlier this year to contest charges that she bought the ammunition that her son used in the slayings. A jury convicted her, and she was sentenced to 10 years in a federal prison.

Nikko Jenkins, 28, is awaiting a hearing before a three-judge panel to determine whether he will receive the death penalty.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1275, todd.cooper@owh.com

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