Thursday, February 13, 2003

Body-double murder plot gets Ohio woman 20 years

The Associated Press

CLEVELAND - A woman who used false records to enroll at Yale's graduate school about six years ago was sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiring to fake her death.

Cuyahoga County Judge Lillian Greene sentenced Tonica Jenkins, 27, of East Cleveland, on Tuesday after a jury convicted her of planning to kill Melissa Latham and pass off the body as her own to avoid a federal drug conviction in Florida.

"You present as a narcissistic predator, preying on the vulnerable to save your own self," Greene told Jenkins, who was convicted of attempted aggravated murder, conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, kidnapping, felonious assault and tampering with evidence.

Jurors also convicted Jenkins' mother, Tonica Clement, 54, of obstructing justice. Greene sentenced her to a year in prison but gave her credit for the full amount as time already served. Clement and Jenkins must also serve federal prison sentences for drug charges.

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