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Pinellas authorities seek gunman in love triangle shootings

ST. PETERSBURG - It's not your typical lovers' triangle: One of the three is dead, another is on life support, and the third is a convicted felon who's a fugitive and has sworn he won't return to prison. Pinellas County authorities are looking for the felon, Jamaal D. Jenkins, 25. They say he fatally shot his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Destynee Nekole Burkes, 24, of Gulfport, execution-style in a Lealman hotel room on U.S. 19 Jan. 7. Then, on Monday, Jenkins shot and wounded Tieyannie D. Hollis, 31, of St. Petersburg, at an apartment complex in St. Petersburg, according to police.
Burkes dated Hollis while Jenkins was in jail, investigators say. Jenkins already faces a first-degree murder charge in Burkes' death and an attempted first-degree murder charge in the Hollis case. That charge is expected to be upgraded to a first-degree murder warrant once Hollis is taken off life support, said Maj. Mike Kovacsev of the St. Petersburg Police Department. "He's made statements he's not going back to prison," Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Tuesday. "It appears that he wants to go the hard way, and that gives us great concern." Jenkins has been in and out of prison since he was a teenager, records show, Burkes continued seeing both Jenkins and Hollis after Jenkins was released in July from his most recent stint in the Pinellas County Jail, where he was doing time for oxycodone possession and obstructing and resisting an officer, Gualtieri said. Jenkins didn't like it. On Dec. 26, he rammed the Toyota Burkes was driving and pushed it into an intersection in Pinellas Park, Gualtieri said. Pinellas Park police were ready to charge him with aggravated battery and criminal mischief, the sheriff said. Then Jenkins and Hollis got into an argument Jan. 6 in a St. Petersburg Park. Jenkins and Burkes reconciled – or appeared to – and checked into the La Quinta Inn at 4999 34th St. N. shortly after 1 a.m. on Jan. 7, Gualtieri said. Less than 30 minutes later, Jenkins left Room 120 without a shirt after shooting Burkes in the back of the head with a small-caliber handgun, the sheriff said. He drove the 2012 silver Chrysler 200 Burkes had rented to Orlando, where he switched the tag with another rented Chrysler 200, according to the sheriff's office. Sheriff's office detectives talked with Hollis a few days ago. But on Monday, he was shot outside the Mariner's Pointe apartment complex, at 1175 Pinellas Point Drive, about 12:25 p.m., St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz said. Like Burkes, he was shot in the head with a small-caliber handgun and was also shot in the torso, authorities said. Witnesses identified Jenkins as the shooter. He'd been stalking Hollis, Gualtieri said. Jenkins has been in and out of prison at least twice since he was a teenager, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. In 2006, he was sentenced to a year and five months in prison after being convicted of one count of child abuse and two counts each of grand theft auto and fleeing and eluding. He was released from prison in April 2007 but was back a year later on charges that included escape, resisting arrest and grand theft auto. This time, he was sentenced to two years and seven months and was released in November 2010, state records show. He's been in and out of the Pinellas County Jail ever since. Detectives believe Jenkins is moving from hotel to hotel, paying for rooms with money he earns by selling drugs, Gualtieri said. Anyone who knows where he is asked to call the sheriff's office.

Authorities are also looking for the silver Chrysler 200 Burkes rented. It now has a license plate number of K91-1WU. [email protected] (727) 215-6504

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