WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Opening statements and witness testimony started Thursday in the murder trial of a Palm Beach County man accused of hiring a hitman to kill his wife.
Euri Jenkins is accused of having his pregnant wife, Makeva Jenkins, shot to death in 2017 inside her home near Lantana in order to collect money from her life insurance policy.
"That defendant, Euri Jenkins, made the decision to hire someone to kill his wife," prosecutor Richard Clausi said in court Thursday.
Jenkins is one of three men arrested in connection with Makeva Jenkins' death. The two other defendants have a deal with the state to testify against Jenkins in an effort to avoid life sentences.
After the shooting, prosecutors said Jenkins called the insurance company to confirm he was the beneficiary. It turned out it was the victim’s grandmother.
"He's calling to confirm that he is the beneficiary of that $500,000 policy," Clausi said.
It was June 29, 2017, just a few hours after midnight.
Deputies said a masked man entered the home and shot the victim in the head while she was sleeping.
The gunman was later identified as Joevan Joseph, who admitted to the murder. He, along with Demriti Dale, were both arrested in connection with the murder-for-hire plot. Deputies said Dale served as the middle man.
"I think at the very least, Makeva Jenkins deserve(s) justice and I no longer want to stand in the way of the justice that is deserved to her," Dale testified Thursday.
While in court Thursday, Dale was the first witness called to the stand. He testifed that Euri Jenkins wanted his wife killed because he no longer loved her.
"From what I know her to be, anything [Euri] ever wanted he got it, so I just was asking him, 'Why?'" Dale testified.
Meanwhile, the defense argued Jenkins is innocent, claiming Dale has a history of lying under oath.
"He was doing all kinds of statements, making all kinds of statements that were considerably inconsistent with each other," defense attorney Greg Lerman said.
Witness testimony is set to resume Friday. If convicted, Jenkins faces life in prison.