A northern Minnesota man with a violent criminal history received the maximum sentence for killing his infant son, whose injuries included a skull fracture, broken ribs and what appeared to be cuts or bites to his chest, hands and feet.
Emery J. Jenkins, 39, of Inger, was given a term of 15 years on Wednesday in Itasca County District Court, the “maximum sentence and an upward departure” from the state’s sentencing guidelines, County Attorney John J. Muhar said in a statement.
With credit for time served in jail since his arrest, Jenkins will serve the first eight years and two months of his sentence in prison and the balance on supervised release.
Jenkins was initially charged with second-degree murder in the October 2014 killing of Joseph, not yet 3 months old, at the family’s home, and the charges were quickly upgraded to first-degree murder. He pleaded guilty in July to a lesser charge, first-degree manslaughter, but professed his innocence while agreeing there was enough evidence to convict him in a trial.
At the time of his arrest, Jenkins told authorities he dropped Joseph on his head in a bathtub and that a neighbor’s dog had bitten the boy while the infant was in a car seat. The charges against him said he beat the boy because he wouldn’t stop crying.
Court records show numerous acts of domestic-related violence committed by Jenkins in Minnesota from 1995 to 2010. He’s been convicted three times for domestic assault, once for violating a protection order, twice for other assaults, three times for disorderly conduct and once for drunken driving.