Kentucky: Bisexual wife of gay attacker testifies against husband

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The wife of Anthony Ray Jenkins has given evidence against her husband who stands accused of attacking a gay man in the US state of Kentucky.

Federal prosecutors say Anthony Ray Jenkins, 20, of Partridge, Kentucky, and David Jason Jenkins, 37, of Cumberland, Kentucky, yelled obscenities and anti-gay slurs at Kevin Pennington while trying to beat him to death in Kingdom Come State Park in Harlan County, on 4 April 2011.

The Kentucky Herald-Leader reported on Thursday that Kevin Pennington told the US District Court of London in Kentucky that he lied at first to the FBI about why he got into a pickup truck with his attackers.

He said it was initially to buy soft drinks and cigarettes from them, but the real reason was to purchase drugs.

In court, 19-year-old Alexis Jenkins, who is married to Anthony Jenkins, spoke of how the two men bragged about attacking the victim and used homophobic language.

Mable Jenkins, the sister of Anthony Ray Jenkins and a cousin of David Jason Jenkins, testified in court earlier this week.

It has also been revealed that both Alexis and Ashley Jenkins have acknowledged being bisexual and they previously pleaded guilty to taking part in the attack, earlier this year.

Anthony Jenkins’ attorney, Willis Coffey, said it made no sense that the women would have attacked Mr Pennington because he is gay, given their sexual orientation, but Alexis Jenkins insisted it was true.

Alexis Jenkins wept during her testimony and said it was hard to testify against her husband.

The case is the first in the US to involve a charge linked to the violation of the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was passed in 2009.

Defence attorneys have said the attack was for reasons other than Mr Pennington’s sexual orientation.

The trial continues.