Capital Murder trial to begin in Comanche County Monday

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Flash staff report
August 16, 2022

The capital murder case against Brendan Jenkins will begin with jury selection in Comanche County District Court on Monday, August 22, and the trial will start Tuesday, August 23. 

Jenkins in Comanche District Court earlier this month.

It’s been a little more than two years since Jenkins was arrested and charged for taking the lives of Earl and Patti Stephens, as well as their granddaughter and his ex-girlfriend, Ashlyn Smith, in northern Comanche County, but to the members of the community, it might as well have been a few days ago. The hole left behind by their loss keeps the memory of the tragedy fresh in folks’ minds. 

According to police reports from the incident, it is believed Jenkins shot the Stephens and Smith overnight on July 24-25. Following the murders, Jenkins called 911 around 7 a.m. on Saturday, July 25, and told the dispatcher there were three dead at a home in the 2900 block of Highway 2921 in the Oliver Springs Community in northern Comanche County.

First responders, including Comanche County Sheriff’s Deputies, Texas State Troopers and DeLeon Police Department found the suspect as well as all three victims on the property. Earl Stephens and Ashlyn Smith were found deceased, Patricia Stephens was transported to JPS Hospital in Fort Worth where she succumbed to her injuries. 

Brendan Layne Jenkins, 22, charged with capital murder
Current charges against Jenkins
Jenkins’ previous adult history

Jenkins was taken into custody immediately and booked into Comanche County Jail on one charge of Capital Murder of multiple people. Now, two years later, Jenkins will stand trial for his crimes, and District Attorney, Adam Sibley, has plans to subpoena the family of the victims, like Jason Smith, Ashlyn’s father, and others to show what a loss this has been. 

(Jason Smith spoke to The Flash at the time of the murders, his story can be found here.)

The maximum sentence for capital murder in Texas is the death penalty and the minimum could be as little as 5 years, if convicted. However, with a date set, the DA’s team seems confident with their case. Sibley advised he believes the case will take about two weeks to present. Then it will be up to the jury. 

8 Comments

      • I understand the anger toward him. I understand the pain and, if I were the victms’ family I’d wish him dead too. Yet, if I were to sanction murder by State, it would make me a murderer too. In addition:
        — The offender has had diagnosed mental illnesses, substance abuse disorders, cancer treatment that affected him mentally, and never received treatment for any of his serious mental conditions.
        — All death penalty cases take years of appeal after appeal, before being final waisting taxpayers’ money and giving years of agony to victims’ family who have to relieve the nightmare . It may be 15 years before he is executed.
        — A life-in prison with no possibility of parole sentence would be harsh enough and would bring the trial to a speedy end.
        My heartfelt condolances go to the victims’ family.

      • Assuming, why would you want it on the table. The only one who endures the effects of the death penalty are those left behind. The one put to death suffers no more. They have been freed from all that we endure. Also, how does a second death do anything positive. Bringing closure is a myth. Getting revenge is more than likely. Again, in fact this releases the subject from the glooms of prison life. In fact he will most likely wished he had been given the death penalty.

        • Liberal mike, I truly don’t want the death penalty on the table. I agree with your comment.

      • Because “rational” people don’t want to see “more” people die as a result of this tragedy, and the State should not be in the business of murdering its own citizens – even those that commit horrendous crimes.

        And don’t even start with that Bible-Belt crap with the “God or the Bible says….” A “real” Christian will leave judgment to the God s/he believes in. Not a fallible jury.

  1. I don’t feel sorry for him he took 3 life’s he deserves to get the death penalty that was my neice who I loved dearly his mother is a dr she should have had him locked away a long time ago he had no right to kill 3 innocent people he was a spoiled brat got anything he wanted he knew what he was doing and I’m sure he planned to murder them if he had more shells he was going to go next door and kill the landlords so I really hope he gets the death penalty he doesn’t deserved to live he took our loved ones from us

  2. “….. he was a spoiled brat got anything he wanted..” nope! When he was living at home with his father, often he still did not have enough to eat and complained of being hungry as he was a picky eater. He was not “spoiled”, rather, he felt he was being neglected even before he started using drugs, especially after his parents divorced. Their divorce hit him hard.

    After he started using drugs, while his father slept in a comfortable home, he would have to sleep in his car in the driveway, heat or cold, mosquitoes or not. He was basically homeless, even if he was still dealing with a cancer diagnoses/treatment. He was very skinny, as he often had no money for food nor a place to cook or store food. Used to complain of headaches and nausea. He started self-medicating.

    After he became a drug addict, the little money he made would go for cheap drugs. He tried to work delivering pizza, even if he was sleepy and nauseous all the time, but did not make enough to get himself a place of his own……. he was often delusional or psychotic, making no sense whatsoever. He never became a muslim, he just ranted nonsense.

    NOW I DON’T BLAME HIS PARENTS, I understand why his father would not let him in the house: he had become violent, as many drug users do, but Brendan resented this…. he was angry at himself, his life, his parents… he did not understand why he had to sleep in the driveway as a dog, while the rest of the family was inside…. even the cat slept inside.

    WHY HE DID NOT RECEIVE ANY TREATMENT? there was no insurance coverage and, contrary to what many believe, his parents ARE NOT WEALTHY. His mother is an educational consultant, not an MD. His father is a computer consultant. They are comfortable yes, but who can afford $40K a month drug rehab? especially when an adult child does not want it?

    DOES ALL THE ABOVE JUSTIFY MURDERING 3 PEOPLE? NO! NOT EVER! but it may shed some understanding of the development of his psychosis that eventually led to a total breakdown…. because, I do believe he was becoming increasingly more and more psychotic. You should read the interview he had with the police. After murdering 3 people, he called the police himself. The ensuing interview made less and less sense. It does not take a PhD to realize this young man is seriously ill.

    Does any of the above excuse or justify murder?
    NO! THERE ARE ABSOLUTELTY NO EXCUSES FOR MURDER, NO EXCUSES WHATSOEVER!!! BY CALLING THE POLICE HE RECOGNIZED HE DID SOMETHING VERY WRONG. He does not meet the legal requirements of a mental health defense.
    There are however, mitigating circumstances and these, in my opinion, need to be considered in sentencing. Justice is appropriate, but not revenge/ No death penalty!

    My heartfelt condolances to the victims’ family.

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