LAKE ALFRED, Fla. (WFLA) — The alleged killer of a beloved girls’ softball coach who was gunned down in his Lake Alfred driveway last August faced a Polk County judge Friday. The judge sent the suspect back to jail without bond to await a murder trial.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives claim the murder was the result of a longstanding grudge against the victim. Alfred Ranard Jenkins, age 54, faces a charge of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Terry Yelvington.
Polk Sheriff Grady Judd says Jenkins had nursed a grudge since 2009 when Yelvington caught him stealing money from a union treasury at the company they both worked at, Packaging Corporation of America.
Jenkins — who already had a prior criminal record for drugs, armed business robbery and kidnapping — was prosecuted for grand theft as a result of the stolen union money. Investigators believe he shot Yelvington because of the “bad blood” between the two men.
“Alfred Jenkins was a vile man. He was a dangerous man when we looked at his criminal history,” Judd said. Judd says a confidential witness told investigators he struggled with Yelvington the day of the murder and then “went blank.”
Judd says a confidential witness told investigators he struggled with Yelvington the day of the murder and then “went blank.” Yelvington’s widow Tina described her husband as “a stranger to no one” who had mentored countless girls in his 35 years as a coach for the Miss Auburndale Softball League.
Yelvington’s widow Tina described her husband as “a stranger to no one” who had mentored countless girls in his 35 years as a coach for the Miss Auburndale Softball League.
“I lost my best friend that day and my life will never be the same,” Yelvington said.” I would like the same thing done to him as what he did to my husband.”
Judd told reporters that Jenkins deserves the maximum penalty for shooting Yelvington. “He needs the death penalty. He needs to serve the ultimate penalty. He needs to die for killing Terry Yelvington,” the sheriff said. “If you want to see evil in the flesh, there he is.”
Jenkins has not made any admissions to detectives, but Yelvington’s widow wants to ask him just one question. “I would want him to answer the question, ‘Why,’ and give me the true answer of why he did this,” she said.