Motions to be heard in Jenkins case

By Kathy Jefcoats

Motions in the death penalty case against a former U.S. Customs inspector accused of killing and dismembering a mother and child are set to be heard Oct. 22 at 9:30 a.m.

Raymond Mark Jenkins, 42, remains in the Henry County Jail without bond in the July 3, 2003, deaths of Guilene Marie Cherisme, 31, and Joyce Isabell Cherisme, 3. Flint District Attorney Tommy Floyd said if Jenkins is convicted of murder, he should be punished by death.

Floyd said he expects motions to be heard over a series of days leading up to trial, which is not expected to be held before the first of the year.

"This is the first of at least more to come," he said. "But I don't know how many more. No trial date has been set but I anticipate it early next year."

Jenkins and Cherisme worked at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – he as an inspector, she as a translator – and had a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. Cherisme was a native of Haiti living in Jonesboro. Jenkins lived in Locust Grove.

It was at his Beulah Lane home that police say Jenkins argued with Guilene Cherisme before shooting her and her daughter. Police said the bodies were dismembered, wrapped in blankets and dumped in the water near Mobile, Ala. Jenkins reportedly led police to the bodies in Washington Parish, La.

Local attorneys Lee Sexton and Ricky Morris represent Jenkins. They succeeded in June in getting trial jurors sequestered and having sheriff's bailiffs undergo training in communicating with jurors. Presiding Superior Court Judge Arch McGarity is the only person allowed to let a potential juror off the panel.

The defense also requested a translator for certain witnesses because Cherisme's native language and that of her family is Creole.

However, the team withdrew motions seeking a change of venue and gag order.