EAST ST. LOUIS - A convicted kidnapper won’t be going free anytime soon. Antwon D. Jenkins, 32, has been resentenced by United States District Judge Staci M. Yandle to 293 months in federal prison following an appellate remand.
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The revised sentence comes after the former Cahokia resident successfully appealed part of his case to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Jenkins was charged in August 2012 with two crimes: kidnapping and using a gun during the crime. He was convicted on both counts by an East Saint Louis jury in March 2014.
The evidence at trial showed that on July 17, 2012, Jenkins (then 24) lured an 18-year old young man to his house in East Saint Louis. While there, Jenkins and others brutally attacked the victim (identified in court as “A.H.”) and accused him of burglarizing Jenkins’ second home in Cahokia.
During the assault, Jenkins poured gasoline on the victim’s genitals and watched as others flicked lit cigarette butts at the victim. Jenkins also put a makeshift firecracker in the victim’s mouth and threatened to light it. After some time, the men put the victim into Jenkins’ truck and drove him across the Poplar Street Bridge into Missouri. During the drive, Jenkins twice pulled off Interstate 44, pointed a gun at the victim, and threatened to shoot.
The second time, the victim managed to escape into the adjoining woods. Jenkins was arrested a few days later. United States District Judge David R. Herndon originally sentenced Jenkins to 308 months – 188 months for the kidnapping and an additional 120 months for using a gun. Jenkins appealed, and after extensive litigation, the Seventh Circuit reversed the gun conviction based on recent Supreme Court precedent and remanded the case for resentencing on just the kidnapping charge. While Jenkins’ appeal was pending, Judge Herndon retired, and the case was reassigned to Judge Yandle.
The resentencing was held on Tuesday. In imposing a 293-month sentence for kidnapping, Judge Yandle observed that Jenkins’ actions were “unthinkable” and amounted to “torture.” She further remarked that his actions “reflect a level of total disregard for life” that “remains troubling.”
As part of his sentence, Jenkins was ordered to serve five years of supervised release and pay restitution in the amount of $38,053.30. Judge Yandle also ordered the sentence to be served consecutively to a 27-month sentence Jenkins previously received in this district for a drug trafficking offense. Two other East Saint Louis men who participated in the crime were prosecuted federally.
The defendant’s younger brother, Jevon Jenkins, then 21, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 135 months in prison. Quavondris Lee Graves, then 20, also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 72 months. Five others involved in the offense were prosecuted and convicted in St. Clair County. The investigation of this case was a product of the Save Our Streets Task Force, a collaborative effort in 2012 involving agents and officers from the FBI, the Illinois State Police, the Columbia (Illinois) Police Department, and the East Saint Louis Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Monica A. Stump, with assistance at trial from Assistant United States Attorney Scott A. Verseman.
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