Belton, Tx (FOX44) – A jury has been seated and an opening statement has been read by the prosecution in the trial of 36-year-old Richard Howard Jenkins. He is accused of punching his baby while arguing with the child’s mother in 2019. Three-month-old Genesis Jenkins later died.
The child’s mother entered a guilty plea to charges of injury to a child last October, and was sentenced to ten years in prison. She had been charged with not seeking medical attention for the child.
The trial began Tuesday with jury selection in 264th District Court. Court records indicate the jury was sworn in, the indictment on the charge of injury to a child was read and the prosecution offered a short opening statement. The defense reserved the right to present their statement later. Several exhibits were admitted and one witness was called before a break for the day was taken.
The arrest affidavit filed at the time of the arrest of Jenkins stated that on February 27, 2019 first responders were notified of a possible cardiac event with the three-month-old baby. At the time, Jenkins was quoted as saying the child had choked on her own vomit and had stopped breathing while he was alone with her. Killeen EMS transported the baby from the address in the 400 block of South 40th Street to a local hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
The affidavit stated that a doctor ordered an autopsy because he believed that bleeding on the baby’s brain was one to two days old. The affidavit stated that after multiple interviews, Jenkins stated that he and the child’s mother had been in an argument, and she was trying to leave his residence. The affidavit stated Jenkins said he punched out at the mother to keep her from leaving, and that when he hit her he also struck little Genesis in the head.
In the affidavit, Jenkins was quoted as saying he knew that they should have taken Genesis to the hospital, and that the child cried severely after it happened.
Jenkins has remained in the Bell County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond since being booked in June 12, 2019.