Sentencing phase begins in Sunhouse convenience store murder trial

Updated: May. 13, 2019 at 10:02 PM EDT
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CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – The sentencing phase is underway in the death penalty case against the man convicted in the Sunhouse convenience store murders and robberies.

The jury will now decide if Jerome Jenkins should be sentenced to life in prison without parole or be sentenced to death.

The prosecution and defense delivered their opening statements after the jury convicted Jenkins for the armed robbery and murder of Bala Parachuri on Jan. 2, 2015.

“Do you believe that Mr. Jenkins, even in the Department of Corrections, does he pose a future danger to employees of the state of South Carolina, just trying to maintain Mr. Jenkins’ life?” prosecutor Scott Hixon questioned to the jurors.

“There’s their side, their’s our side and then there’s going to be your side,” defense attorney Brana Williams said.

Once opening statements were finished, the focus shifted to include the other incidents that Jenkins is accused of, including the armed robbery and murder of Trisha Stull and the armed robbery of a Scotchman convenience store 23 days later on Jan. 25, 2015.

“just about the time I got to the front door, they came in and one came towards me with a gun and the other went behind the counter,” said former Scotchman employee Barbara McDowell.

The jury watched surveillance video the night of the robbery at the Sunhouse convenience store where Stull was killed.

They also heard recordings where Jenkins is heard giving Detective Gregory Lent details about the incidents that he says he was and wasn’t involved in.

Court is expected to resume Tuesday morning.

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