They say ignorance of the law is no excuse. While it may not be written, such ignorance is apparently a punishable offense in and of itself. Pete has spent the last eight years behind bars with the promise of many more to come for legal inexperience. All he seeks is a reasonable opportunity to prove his innocence.

I have followed through with my share of ill-conceived notions, however, the crime for which I am currently incarcerated does not fall into that category.

In April 1990, I was convicted of theft and robbery and consequently sentenced to serve a four-year term. After having served the mandatory time I was granted parole in July 1991.

Later that same year I met Linda Walker. She was an outwardly charming woman who had a daughter from a previous marriage. I hoped to spend the rest of my life with her. Linda and I were soon married.

On July 30, 1992, I was accused of, and arrested for, assaulting my wife. The allegation was false and the charge subsequently dismissed, but the incident was sufficient to give rise to doubts about the union into which I had so hastily entered. Nevertheless, at Linda's urging, within three months we had reconciled our marriage. I did, after all, love my wife and held hope that the incident was an isolated, inexplicable anomaly.

That illusion was broken in March 1993 when I discovered that Linda had previously, and was currently, involved in extra-marital relations. I decided at that point it was best for all parties to part on a permanent basis. I had known little of Linda's history or character beyond surface implications before we married, but after our final separation, friends and mutual acquaintances warned me I should be wary of her -- she had a tendency to be vindictive. Unable to conceive of any rational causes for holding grudges, I assumed such points of view to be merely the associative discontent common to failed marriages. The events that were to follow would prove that assumption incorrect beyond anything I could have imagined.

In September 1993 I was arrested for a technical violation of parole. I had changed my residence and job and failed to report the same to my parole officer within the time allotted. While I was in jail awaiting a parole disposition hearing, I was summoned to court and arraigned on charges of sexual battery. I had not even been made aware of any accusations! I can't begin to express my shock. The allegation referred to a young lady whom Linda had hired to baby-sit her daughter and was supposed to have occurred in January 1993. I entered a plea of not-guilty, but the case was automatically bound over for grand jury review.

It was known that my parole would expire and release effected on December 26, 1993, provided that I remained incarcerated until such time. At a scheduled parole disposition hearing in October 1993, over two years of street time was revoked in conjunction with the allegation of sexual battery.

Soon after, on November 5, 1993, I was visited by a detective of the Nashville Police Department. He informed me that Linda Walker Jenkins had filed affidavits alleging that I had raped and sexually battered Ashley Brewer (Linda's daughter) on a number of non-specifically defined occasions and that I had been indicted on twelve counts of the same. I simply could not believe what I was hearing. Indicted? Rape? Upon what could such accusations be based? If I was shocked before, I was now utterly bewildered.

Having no income or other means of retaining counsel, the court appointed Ms. Jerrilyn Manning of the public defender's office to represent me in this matter. A motion for discovery was filed on December 16, 1993. The evidence intended for use against me was as follows:

An interview was conducted on April 21, 1992, at 959 Bresslyn Avenue by Detective Jeff West of the Nashville Police Department. This is the home of Edie Thompson. According to the transcripts, one of the people present at the interview was Kim Moore of the Department of Human Services. The subject of the interview was Ashley Brewer, age eight. Through visual and verbal prompting, the general content of the transcript describes various
forms of alleged sexual contact.

An interview of Ashley Brewer at Metropolitan Nashville General Hospital conducted on April 30, 1993, by Sue Ross, RNP, was followed by a medical examination performed by M. O'Leary, M.D. The concluded result of the examination was negative, however, an erythema (a redness of the skin according to the dictionary) was found on the hymen. DNA testing was not applicable. Witnesses to be brought forth by the state were Linda Walker Jenkins, Detective Jeff West, Sue Ross, Larry Thompson, Edie Thompson and Ashley Brewer.

Despite continuous assertions that I had not committed these crimes -- supported by facts contrary to the pending allegations -- Ms. Manning failed to investigate the claims made by the state. Likewise, she did not contact and interview given witnesses for the defense. By all appearances she gave no consideration to preparing a defense -- regardless of my insistence the matter be tried by jury.

The fact remains however, that all accusations were, and are, false. Facts supporting a claim of innocence include, but are not limited to, the following:

The times the offenses were alleged to occur are inconsistent with actual events. The claims assert that the offenses occurred while the victim and I were alone before the daily routines of school and work began. Ashley Brewer and I were never alone at these times. This fact can be supported by witness testimony and verified by school and employment records. In our Monday through Friday routine, Linda would wake Ashley and tell her to get dressed for school while Linda and I showered and got dressed. We would all leave at approximately 6:30 a.m. to 6:45 a.m. We would take Ashley to a woman's house on Glen Rose Avenue and arrive at 7:00 a.m. Linda and I would drop Ashley off at this woman's house, watch her go into the house, then we would leave. I drove. I don't remember the woman's name, but know where she lived. She charged Linda $25.00-$35.00 a week and the woman would take Ashley to Wittsit Elementary School each morning and pick her up from school each afternoon. She would keep Ashley until Linda and I would arrive between 5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to pick her up. After we dropped off Ashley, I would take Linda to work. Linda's work hours were 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It took approximately 25-35 minutes to get from the babysitter's house to Linda's place of work. I would then continue on to my work; that would take approximately 20-25 minutes to get there from Linda's workplace. As long as I was there by 8:45 my boss, Mr. Billy Golden, was okay with that. I would always try to leave at 4:00 p.m. to go pick up Linda. This continued to be the routine until we all moved out of the apartment that we were sharing with my friend, Shawn. We moved out and into a trailer in a trailer park and Linda changed Ashley's school to Brookmeade Elementary School on Davidson Road. Linda said it would be easier since this school was across the street from where Linda worked. Linda also said it would save her money, so I agreed to the move. The times changed to our getting up at 6:15 a.m. We would have Ashley to school by 7:50 a.m. so she could eat the school breakfast. The routine was the same from there. Ashley would walk across the street to her mother's work and go to the boss' office. Sometimes I would get there in time to pick up Ashley and we would both walk across the street and Ashley would go into the boss' office and see Linda and play out in front while I sat in the car in front of the building. If Ashley became sick, or school wasn't in session, or there were teacher's meetings, Linda would have the woman on Glenrose Avenue keep her for the day. During the summer break the woman also kept Ashley for the day.

Sometimes Linda's brother would take Ashley for a few weeks during the summer and we would go pick her up. Linda's niece, Kathy, came to stay with us on one such occasion. She came back to Nashville with us to look for work. This was the last of June or first of July 1992. She would take care of Ashley on the days that she didn't go job hunting. I changed jobs around this time and my hours changed to 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. If I had to work over, I would work until 5:00 p.m. Linda made arrangements with a co-worker to pick Ashley up in the morning and take her home in the evenings. On July 30, 1992, I came home around 4:15 p.m. Linda and the girls hadn't arrived home by 5:30 p.m., so at 5:45 p.m. I went looking for them. I drove all the way to Linda's work and there was no sign of them. I drove back the only way they could have taken; still no sight of them or Kathy's yellow Dodge truck. I drove up and down Nolenville Road looking for the yellow truck. While I was going one way, I saw them going the other way. I made a U-turn and followed. When they reached the house and parked I pulled in behind the truck. Linda got out and then Kathy. Within seconds I saw Mike and some other man pulling up in front of Kathy's truck. Kathy walked to my car and told me that the truck had broken down as Linda was getting into the passenger side of the car. Both men were drunk. I noticed that Linda had a tallboy beer and I said nothing to her, but I told Kathy and Mike to move out of the way and I squealed off. Yes, I was angry. When Linda and

I got to the trailer, Linda's niece and Ashley still hadn't gotten there. They arrived within a few minutes and I was trying to leave as Linda was throwing things at me and hitting me in the back. Linda made marks on herself and told me, “I'm going to get you.” I thought that I had better call my mother and tell her because I knew that I was going to go to jail. I was on parole. Who would they believe? I was on the phone with my mother when the police arrived and arrested me. Linda pressed assault and aggravated assault charges on my mother and my mother had nothing to do with it! Linda and I separated. We separated from July 30, 1992 until October 17, 1992. At that time, a good friend of Linda's, Prissy Turnbo, told me I had better get and stay away from Linda because she was nothing but trouble and would lie about anything just to see someone get hurt or get in trouble. I didn't listen. In October 1992, I went looking for Linda. My sole purpose was to try to talk her out of going forward with the false charges of assault. Prissy finally told me Linda's telephone number and I called and talked with her. Later that evening I took her to dinner then we ended up at the duplex she was renting on Robertson Avenue and we made love. Later that same night, Surrane and Ashley came in. Linda and I were sitting in the living room. When Ashley saw me she jumped, hollered and hooted with so much happiness. She ran to me and grabbed me around my neck and hugged me for dear life. She screamed, “Daddy, daddy, you're back! I love you daddy!” Later that same night, I left. I never lived at the address on Robertson Avenue with Linda or Ashley. On October 22, 1992, the day of court, Linda did not show and the charges were dismissed.

In December 1992, Linda, Ashley and I rented an apartment on Thunderbird Drive. Everything in regards to Ashley was just the same. Linda and I would take her to school. Linda's niece went back to Pulaski, Tennessee to her home.

One morning in the middle of January 1993, as I drove Linda and Ashley to school and work, we saw an older man whose car was stalled on the road. I stopped to ask if he needed help. He said his car just all of a sudden quit as if it was out of gas. I told him I'd be right back; I had to take Linda and Ashley to school and work. He introduced himself as Ely. I repaired his car and he offered to pay me. I told him, "Naw, don't worry, it was just a stopped up gas line and filter." He insisted on buying me a cup of coffee at the Waffle House. I followed him there. We had a cup and talked and that's when he told me about a friend of his he knew needed car repair work done. We left the Waffle House in his car and he drove about 30-50 yards to the Hallmark #5 Motel. He introduced me to the guy, Larry Thompson, who was the assistant manager of the motel. This is when Linda and I met his mother, Edie Thompson, in January of 1993. In the first part of February 1993, Linda, Ashley and I moved from Thunderbird Avenue to a house at 504 Eastboro Road. In the same month, a very cold winter storm came and the water pipes froze at the house. Larry and his mother, Edie, insisted that we stay with them until the water pipes were fixed. 959 Bresslyn Avenue is approximately a mile from Hallmark #5 motel. We all stayed with them until the end of March 1993.

According to the transcript, the interview of April 21, 1992, was conducted at 959 Bresslyn Avenue, at 4:15 p.m. Neither Linda nor I were acquainted with Edie Thompson until January 1993. This can be supported by witness testimony. Having definitively ruled out the possibility of typographical or other errors, the interview of April 21, 1992, could not have taken place at 959 Bresslyn Avenue. There is also the witness testimony for the defense. In March 1993, I left Linda for good.

Further inconsistencies in the state's claims that I have yet to be able to substantiate beyond rumor and inference:

According to the state's claim, offenses committed prior to April 21, 1992, initiated the report and interview of that date. If so, after my arrest of July 30, 1992, and the ensuing separation, why did Linda insist on reconciliation, thereby placing the child in an allegedly known abusive environment?


· Why did Kim Moore of DHS who was present at the interview of April 21, 1992, allow the child to remain in an allegedly known abusive environment?


· Why was Kim Moore excluded from the state's intended witness list?


· Why was no warrant issued and no arrest affected?


· Although the result of the April 30, 1993, medical examination was specified as negative, an erythema was found on the hymen. Why was a medical examination not performed until April 30, 1993?


· Why was Dr. M. O'Leary, as the examining professional, excluded from the state's intended witness list?



· It is unconfirmed information that Ashley was removed from Linda's custody by DHS for a period prior to their relocation to the Nashville area because Ashley had suffered physical and sexual abuse at the hands of one of Linda's former husbands.


· Why were potentially exculpatory portions of Ashley Brewer's medical record and DHS file sealed in accordance with the district attorney's request?


Various additional inconsistencies exist. Unfortunately, space limitations preclude their inclusion here. Notwithstanding, Ms. Manning's interest in my defense was strictly limited to plea-bargaining. At the time I did know that I could request new counsel to be appointed. At Ms. Manning's continued insistence that "any attempted defense is an exercise in futility" and "if we go to trial you will be found guilty and sentenced to 120 years to life," I entered a nolo contendere plea agreement on March 31, 1994. The conditions of the agreement were described as two fifteen-year terms to be served concurrently. At the sentencing hearing I tried to express my position that I entered the agreement not as a consequence of guilty, but under advisement of counsel. However, beyond direct affirmative and negative responses the court and counsel effectively cut me off. The plea was accepted although the sentence had somehow become two fifteen-year terms.

I later learned the extent of how unjust the proceedings were as well as the fact that potentially exculpatory evidence was not disclosed by the state during discovery. On May 12, 1995, I filed a petition for post-conviction relief to the trial court on grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel, involuntary plea and malicious prosecution. The court appointed William A. Lane to represent me at the hearing. Mr. Lane and I never conferred before the hearing date. On August 2, 1995, Ms. Manning testified before the trial court that she saw no need to investigate or contact witnesses for the defense. The court verbally acknowledged its respect for her opinion and denied relief.

It was my understanding that Mr. Lane, based on our conversation, was going to appeal the trial court's decision to the court of criminal appeals. He did not. He abandoned my case without advising me of his intentions. After discovering that Mr. Lane had failed to pursue the matter, I requested he forward all records and materials regarding my case to me so I could pursue on my own behalf. Following numerous attempts, Mr. Lane responded and informed me he had given those documents to a woman he did not know nor from whom did he require signature of receipt. He gave the papers to her on the woman's word alone that I had authorized her to assume possession. I had done no such thing.

Having made many requests of the criminal court clerk as well as motions to the court for transcripts, etc., I have received only a small portion. In the meantime, not knowing what else to do, I filed a petition of habeas corpus 2254 in federal court. It was dismissed on procedural grounds (time barred by statute of limitations), but was granted a certificate of probable cause based on the merits of the claim. From there I have simply stumbled from one court to another in the hope someone would hear me. Unfortunately, all efforts have thus far produced only similar results -- denied and dismissed on procedural grounds. I suppose the truth is a secondary issue. A wrongful conviction is a lawful conviction so long as it can be loosely thought of as procedurally correct.

They say ignorance of the law is no excuse. While it may not be written, such ignorance is apparently a punishable offense in and of itself. I have spent the last eight years behind bars with the promise of many more to come for legal inexperience. All I seek is a reasonable opportunity to prove my innocence.

If anyone reading this can provide assistance or advice, please contact me or Judy Graves. I would be very grateful. If I had the assistance of counsel it would not be difficult to prove that I did not do this crime. I declare under penalty of perjury that this story is true and correct. You may contact my mother and fiancée at any time. They are waiting to help.

I filed a writ of mandamus for the records I needed to help me in my case and the Supreme Court of Tennessee denied it. In their own words, "After due consideration the court finds that the petition and motion should be denied." I am now 100% convinced they (the state) do not want me to get hold of the records, documents and the sealed envelope that is the proof of my innocence. They do not want this case back in court. Why else do the courts keep denying me access to the records, as well as denying every attempt I've made with the courts for the just relief I am due. I have made clear and convincing evidence and claims that prove the Constitutional violations that I suffered from. I filed another writ for habeas corpus in August 2001 with the U.S. District Court in Western District of Tennessee. The Memphis U.S. District Court transferred it to Nashville, then Nashville claimed it was a second or successive petition so they transferred it to the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit. The Sixth Circuit Court clerk sent me an application to fill

out for authorization to file a second application for writ of habeas corpus. I filled that out and mailed it on September 20,2001. It was filed. The state had ten days to respond and file reason why the application for authorization to file a second application should not be granted. The Sixth Circuit extended their response time an additional twenty days which made it due in October 22, 2001. The state filed their response on October 17, 2001. Here is what they said in their motion of why my application for second Habeas Corpus should not be granted: “Jenkins was convicted of two counts of aggravated rape in 1994. He was sentenced to fifteen years of imprisonment for each count to run consecutively. His direct appeal concluded in 1983 and his post-conviction denial became final in 1996. On April 10, 2002, he filed a petition for habeas corpus in the United States District Court, Western District of Tennessee. Jenkins alleged the grounds for relief: 1. Malicious prosecution based upon an alleged defective indictment and the prosecutors withholding of exculpatory evidence; 2. Ineffective assistance of trial counsel; 3. His nolo contendere pleas were not voluntary, knowing and intelligent; and 4. Ineffective assistance of counsel during post-conviction proceedings. The District Court denied relief as being time-barred and that decision was upheld by this court [Jenkins v. Dukes, 248 F.3d 1149 (6th Cir. 1989) (table) on September 19, 2001 Jenkins filed a second petition in the district court.]”

Now here's what's wrong: I was convicted in 1994. My direct appeal concluded in 1983 is wrong. How could I have a direct appeal and concluded in 1983 especially when I was not convicted until 1994. In 1983 I was only 15 or 16 years old. I didn't have a direct appeal in the case. They say I filed on April 10, 2001; I filed a petition for habeas corpus in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee and that is wrong. I filed in the Middle District of Tennessee. Also, how could my case be in a law book in 1989? My first habeas corpus was filed in April 2000. I've ruled out the possibility of typos. As of this time, the state has not responded to my requests. The court of appeals is supposed to grant or deny the authorization to file a second or successive application not later than thirty days after the filing of the motion. I wrote to the court clerk asking about it and I received a response dated December 18, 2001, advising me that. as of this date. the court has not made its ruling. I don't want to rush them or aggravate them by constantly questioning what's going on just in case the judges are really looking into it carefully. So what do I do? If they could only understand each day that passes is another day of my innocence and freedom lost by still being imprisoned for something I did not do or did not happen. It is truly hell trying to get out of prison.

I had filed an appeal with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. After six months they denied the motion. So, I turned right around and drafted up another writ of habeas corpus and filed it in the District Court and the District Court issued an order for me to go through the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to get authorization again. I filed that motion on June 5, 2002. As of October 7, 2002, I still haven't heard from them. I think their 30-day limit is up. Under 28 USC 2244 (3) (D) the Court of Appeals shall grant or deny the authorization to file a second or successive application not later than 30 days after the filing of the motion. I sent another motion to the US Supreme Court asking them to help me. I told them the Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit wasn't complying with their own rules. I requested they issue an order directing the court of appeals to either grant or deny my motion.

I just don't know what to do anymore. The courts aren't going to listen to me. I guess that old saying is true: “It's better to be guilty and rich than it is to be innocent and poor.” They also say, “The truth shall set you free,” but I keep on telling the truth and it's not setting me free yet.

You can write me at:

Peter C. Jenkins #134185
WTSP Site-2
P.O. BOX 1050
Henning, TN 38041-1050

I didn't have the money for a good lawyer when my son, Pete, was charged with these awful offenses he's serving time for. If I had, I'm sure he wouldn't be where he is now. He never raped or sexually abused that child. How do I know? I spent a lot of time with the three of them while Pete was with Ashley and her mother, Linda. When they would watch TV at my house, Ashley would want to lie on the couch with the two of them. A child who is being sexually abused wouldn't want to do that. Ashley loved Pete and it showed. I'm his mother and if anything had been going on I would have noticed something. It just did not happen.

The mother, Linda, had a temper that was completely out of control. I've seen her slap the child out of a chair telling her she was lying and I've seen her whip the child so bad and make her sit in my bathroom until she fell asleep on the bathroom floor. She was so scared of her mother she would never refuse to do what her mother wanted. Linda wanted Pete out of her life. They fought constantly and the sure way of getting this done was to make the child accuse him of this. It's as simple as that. It's not that simple to prove he didn't do this and Linda knew that.

In the interview with Detective West that was done at a private dwelling with others present, the child answers questions in a way that an eight-year old with her IQ would not say, like, "My dad sexually abused me," and "I wasn't going to tell anybody, but I had to get it off of my chest," etc. Linda even had me arrested. The only time in my 67 years I've ever been arrested. She had Pete arrested earlier that evening and I'd gone down and bailed him out. Some time before that I loaned her my VCR. I said to Pete, "We'd better go get it, she's mad and she'll tear it up." When we got there they started fighting and I practically dragged Pete out of there. As we ran for the car she threw a claw hammer at us. About 1:00 a.m. the police were knocking on my door. Both of us were charged with aggravated assault. I know she accused me too because she thought if I was picked up Pete would have nobody to get him out. The charges were eventually dismissed.

Pete went back to live with the woman after this. I never had anything else to do with her. I knew then without a doubt she was nothing but trouble. Pete was angry with me because I wouldn't accept her back in the family. I worried about him during this time. She is a large-structured woman and she loved to fight like a man. So, I would drive over close to where she worked and watch for Pete to pick her up just to see if he was okay. He'd pick her up and drive across the street and up the hill toward the school. This was in 1992. At this time Ashley was going to school across the street from Linda's work. I assume they were going to pick her up.

All this is just to let you know the kind of woman who's responsible for these allegations. I suppose there are some good public defenders, but Pete got the worst of the worst. At the court hearing when he pleaded Nolo Contendre, Ms. Manning had him so scared he didn't know what to do. I tried to talk to her about some things that really would have helped him. She told me it was his case and not mine. William A. Lane was supposed to handle his post-conviction hearing, but did nothing more than spend his required time in the courtroom. When Pete found out he hadn't filed the appeal he thought this lawyer was going to, he asked for all his records and was told Mr. Lane had given all them to some lady that came to his office. He said he didn't get her name.

Pete's fiancée, Judy, got a notarized power of attorney and went to the courthouse to get all the records they'd give her. On her second trip there she discovered a sealed envelope. Nobody can find out what it is. Judy also took Ashley's body gram to her doctor. He told her it was nothing, but said he couldn't comment further because it was marked confidential.

Why is it we can't get the records from his post-conviction hearing, but the record marked "confidential not to be released to any other party" from Ashley's exam and hospital interview is available at the courthouse for anybody to see? The interview and exam was October 1993, but his charges are from undetermined dates between December 1991 and February 1993. Oh, how I wish you could see all the contradictions and rehearsed answers in the interview with Detective West and the Metro General Hospital interview. In the transcript from the court hearing, Judge Randall Wyatt said, "If you're pleading Nolo Contendre, I want you to leave. I don't want that kind of plea. I'd rather have a best interest plea of guilty." A judge isn't supposed to advise in this manner is he? He did accept it because he had such great respect for Ms. Manning. I didn't know anything back then about what they were or were not supposed to do. I'd never had any reason to study the laws before that. We didn't even know we could ask for another lawyer because that one wasn't doing anything to defend him. If somebody in a position to help Pete would just read all the records I've got I know something could be done to give him the justice he needs. He's filed every appeal to every place he knows about and he just keeps getting a run around or dismissed. It even took one place six months to let him know he's filed the wrong paper. If there's anything I can do to assist in this please let me know what it is.

Dempsey Jenkins (Pete’s mother) address is:
90 Scobey Dr.
Nashville, TN 37210
(615) 255-6042

Judy Graves (Pete’s fiancée) address is:
265 Timmons St.
Nashville, TN 37211
(615) 333-2583 (home) or (615) 578-5195