Man charged in hunters' deaths

By Diane Smith Record-Courier staff writer Published:

Danny H. Jenkins, 51, of Akron, is accused of shooting the two brothers who were hunting near Tappan Lake, about 60 miles soouthwest of Portage County when they were shot to death.

Meanwhile, authorities continue to study a possible link between Jenkins and a double murder of two Florida hunters in 1993, as well as the unsolved 1994 murder of a woman in Deerfield.

Jenkins appeared before Harrison County Court Judge Michael Nunner for arraignment Saturday afternoon. The judge ordered that he be held without bond. Harrison County Public Defender Adrian Pincola was named Jenkins court-appointed attorney.

A preliminary hearing is to be set within nine days, and a special grand jury is to hear the case next week.

Harrison Prosecutor Matthew Puskarich stated in a press release that Florida investigators are in Harrison County seeking information on the unsolved murder of two Florida hunters.

Jenkins had been convicted of felony drug charges in Florida, the press release stated. Puskarich could not be reached for further comment.

According to the Associated Press, Puskarich said that Harrison County Sheriff Mark Miller was meeting this weekend with Lt. Jimm Redmond of the Clay County Sheriff's office to discuss a possible connection.

Miller and Redmond weren't available for comment Saturday, according to the Harrison County Sheriff's Department said.

Redmond is the lead investigator in the slayings of Don Hill, 63, and Gregory Allan Wood, 35, both of Orange Park, which is outside Jacksonville.

Both men were shot in the head at close range with a shotgun and then robbed of their wallets.

Records show Jenkins was issued a Florida driver's license in 1989 with an address at a Palm Springs condominium complex.

A man who identified himself as Dan Jenkins was on the scene of a murder investigation in Deerfield Township on Nov. 4, 1994. He told a Record-Courier reporter he had just been hunting when he found the nude, decomposing body of a woman in a wooded area near Fewtown Road on the north side of the Berlin Reservoir, southwest of Deerfield Circle. The woman's identity remains undetermined.

Portage County Sheriff Duane Kaley said the reporter apparently talked to a man the Sheriff's deputies did not have a chance to interview.

He said detectives from his office have been in Harrison County since the murder to aid in the investigation, but have not talked to Jenkins about the Deerfield case.

"We certainly wouldn't want to do anything to hamper their investigation," he said. "We will be working in coordination with Harrison County."

Danny Jenkins was a friend of the Lockards and had hunted with them on the same property within days of their deaths.

A search for Duane Lockard, 60, a retired bricklayer, and his brother William, 61, a long-distance truck driver, began Nov. 1 after they failed to contact their families Oct. 31 while on a hunting trip. Their bodies were discovered about a half mile apart late in the morning Nov. 2 by separate search parties.

Both had been shot once in the back with a 12-gauge shotgun from a distance of 8 to 12 feet away, according to preliminary autopsy reports from the Summit County Coroners Office.

A search warrant filed in Akron Municipal Court states Jenkins' apartment was searched Wednesday. Authorities were seeking a shotgun, spent shells, live ammunition, two wallets containing the Lockard's identification, a Timex men's watch and about $5,000 in cash, according to the search warrant.

Authorities did not find what they were looking for and instead took 21 photographs from a bedroom closet into evidence, according to the document.

An affidavit accompanying the search warrant states that although Jenkins told Miller he had not been in Harrison County on the day of the murders, witnesses placed him in the area the day of the slayings. He also knew about the watch that Duane Lockard's wife, Jean, had reported missing, even though the missing watch had not been publicized. His white Ford Crown Victoria was also seen parked in front of the brother's pick up truck.

Investigators form the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification have executed a search warrant on Jenkin's car. Details concerning that search have not yet been released.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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