YORK, Neb. — Erica Jenkins, who is serving life plus more than 100 years for participating in one of four murders committed by her brother, Nikko Jenkins, was convicted Wednesday of assaulting her cousin in prison.
Prosecutors said Erica Jenkins severely beat fellow inmate and cousin Christine Bordeaux in retaliation for Bordeaux’s testifying against her and Nikko.
After the brutal assault, in which Jenkins beat Bordeaux with a padlock, a guard moving Jenkins to another unit heard her “laugh and say, ‘They should have let me finish that b***h off,’ ” Jason Bergevin, a special prosecutor with the Nebraska Attorney General’s office, told the jury this week.
The two women were being housed in the same cell at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women in York at the time of the attack. Bergevin told jurors that the cousins were put in the same cell because of construction at the prison.
“It was an egregious mistake by NCCW, and it gave Ms. Jenkins the opportunity,” Bergevin said. He added that Jenkins had enlisted the help of another inmate.
Bordeaux is serving a sentence of a combined 20 years for criminal conspiracy and attempted robbery in connection with Nikko Jenkins’ crimes.
Greg Dammon, Jenkins’ defense attorney, told the jury that “there is no dispute Ms. Bordeaux was assaulted on Nov. 24, 2016. But it was not Erica Jenkins who assaulted her, it was (the other inmate).”
Dammon told the jury that Bordeaux had not signed any papers for the prison that stated she feared a specific inmate.
Bordeaux testified that she didn’t tell prison authorities she was afraid of Jenkins when she arrived at the institution in York because she was afraid that “would restrict my programming, work, that type of thing.”
The defense also alluded to the fact Bordeaux has since filed a civil lawsuit against the Corrections Department for housing the two of them in the same cell — which the defense argues was a motive to say Jenkins was the assailant instead of the other inmate, in her effort to be awarded financial compensation.
Jenkins did not testify in her own defense.
The jurors convicted Jenkins of assault by a confined person and acquitted her of use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony.