, 2014

Murder suspect surrenders;
arraignment set for Oct. 22

HEATHSVILLE—Bernard Lajon Jenkins, 42, a suspect in the Wednesday, September 12, murder of a Callao man, surrendered to the Northumberland County Sheriff’s Department Thursday morning.

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At 1:53 p.m. last Wednesday, the sheriff’s office received a report of a shooting in the Fruit Plain Road area. The victim, Kevin Lamont Turner, 25, of Callao was found outside of the residence with multiple gunshot wounds. Emergency personnel were dispatched and found the victim to be deceased.

According to Northumberland Sheriff Chuck Wilkins, Turner was in the company of a mutual female acquaintance when the shooting occurred. Witnesses saw Jenkins leaving the scene in an emerald green 1998 Plymouth Breeze.

After phone negotiations among Jenkins, the sheriff’s office, and Commonwealth’s Attorney Jane Wrightson, the suspect surrendered at 9:45 a.m. Thursday.

“Early on, he was in communication with the female and then we were in contact. He just kept putting off and putting off (surrender) until finally we arranged surrender at his mother’s house,” said Sheriff Wilkins.

The search for Turner continued throughout the night Wednesday. Northumberland authorities were assisted by the Richmond County sheriff’s office and Virginia State Police. Air units were used in the daylight hours.

The event marked the first use of Northumberland’s emergency notification system for a non-weather related emergency.

“It worked really well,” said county administrator Kenny Eades. “47% were live answers which was 381 phone numbers and then 42% went to answering machines which is 344 phone calls. 811 phone calls actually went out.”

Wilkins said the notification system was used to let people know that a manhunt was going on and to remind citizens to lock their cars. He said the only problem was people asking for specific details that the sheriff’s department was not at liberty to divulge.

“Next time we’ll do a follow up phone call to let everyone know that things are all clear,” said Wilkins.

Jenkins, who has a long criminal history including drug possession, larceny and eluding police, is being held without bond, said Wrightson. His preliminary arraignment is scheduled for October 22.

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