Couple Murdered Woman, Used Dismembered Body Parts To Threaten Their Ex-Lover
“This case is filled with relationships based on intimidation, anxiety, separation, strangeness, bizarre conduct, crazy letters, notes and behavior,” one defense lawyer noted.
A South Carolina couple murdered a woman and then left parts of her dismembered body outside two residences to send a message to an ex-lover they claimed owed them money.
In April 2008, two trash bags filled with the body parts, including hands, feet, and toes, were left on the doorsteps of the homes along with notes addressed to “Grace.”
Whoever typed the messages warned it was a “last warning” and “this is what happens to people who do not follow our instructions.”
There was an email address listed at the bottom of the notes.
“For us as investigators, thank you, because we can track that email address and at least start somewhere,” former Greenville Police Department detective Collis Flavell said.
According to police, detectives were able to trace the email to a library, and surveillance video showed a man and woman — later identified as Clarence Jenkins, 24, and his 20-year-old wife, Carmen Jenkins — using a computer.
At the couple’s trailer, detectives found evidence of murder, including blood stains covered with spray paint in a shower as well as blood splatter in multiple places on the walls and ceiling. In a back bedroom, they discovered knives, swords and handcuffs.
Detectives identified the victim, 34-year-old Mekole Harris, through fingerprints taken from her severed digits.
According to court documents, prosecutors said Clarence and Carmen lured Harris to their home, where Clarence handcuffed her to a chair and suffocated her to death with a plastic bag.
Clarence cut off Harris’ feet and hands in the shower with a gardening tool and then bagged up the body parts, which Carmen left in front of the two homes in order to blackmail and intimidate their ex-lover and housemate, Grace Davis, into giving them $10,000.
“They killed [Mekole], they dismembered her and they used her body for their own selfish purposes,” prosecutor Walt Wilkins said at Clarence’s trial, the Associated Press reported.
Davis and the murder victim did not know each other.
Carmen, now 34, eventually received 40 years behind bars after she pleaded guilty to murder and testified against now-38-year-old Clarence, according to WYFF.
“This case is filled with relationships based on intimidation, anxiety, separation, strangeness, bizarre conduct, crazy letters, notes and behavior,” defense attorney John Mauldin said at Clarence’s trial, claiming Carmen masterminded the murder and failed blackmail plot because she was upset Davis didn’t want to be with them anymore. “And when the normal, everyday person tries to analyze it, it gets a little bit crazy. It is beyond comprehension.”
A jury convicted Clarence of murder and kidnapping. He was sentenced to life in prison.
For more on the investigation into this case, watch the season premiere of American Detective on ID July 6 at 10/9c. or stream on discovery+.