HIGH POINT, N.C. -- A Guilford County judge set a $50,000 bond for a suspect charged with first-degree murder in the death of a 74-year-old High Point grandmother.
Typically, suspects charged with first degree murder are not granted bond, but police say say Jerry Jenkins Jr., 20, turned himself in Wednesday night. He appeared in court in front of Judge Mark Cummings Thursday morning.
About a dozen people showed up for the emotional 50-minute first appearance hearing, including Jenkins' mom and dad, and family members of the victim, Josie Lindsay.
The district attorney's office asked Judge Cummings to hold Jenkins in the Guilford County Jail with no bond. The D.A.'s office said Jenkins had one prior misdemeanor conviction for possession of a marijuana. They said he also has some open charges, including for possession of marijuana, drinking under age 21, and resisting a public officer.
Jenkins said he was on Lindsay's lawn when she was shot and killed on March 21 outside her home on Langford Avenue. Jenkins' family said he and Lindsay's granddaughter have a child together.
The D.A's office claims Jenkins fired the first shot at the suspects who drove by. Those suspects are Jaquan Clark, 20, Lashawn Marshall, 21, and a 14-year-old who has not been named. They're all charged with first-degree murder.
High Point police called the incident gang- and drug-related and do not believe Lindsay was the target.
Jenkins was charged with first-degree murder because of the "felony murder rule." In North Carolina, if someone initiates a "felonious action" which results in death, that person can be charged with first degree murder too. The D.A.'s office said Jenkins' felonious action was firing into an occupied vehicle.
Many family members spoke on Jenkins' behalf and said he did not instigate the gun fire.
Judge Cummings said the decision to grant bond is based on whether the suspect is a threat to the community or a "flight risk," meaning whether he's show up in court. Judge Cummings decided to grant Jenkins bond on the low range of a Class B1 felony.
If Jenkins' family pays the $50,000 bond, he will be released to his mom and dad. He will not be allowed to leave their home, except for work. Judge Cummings says if he leaves for any other reason, he will be arrested and given a bond of $1 million.
Clark also appeared in court Thursday for a hearing. Judge Cummings ordered him to be held without bond.