DALLAS – A Dallas County jury found Larry Jenkins guilty of capital murder on Friday in the shooting death of former NBA player and Dallas Carter basketball standout Andre Emmett.
As the verdict was read, members of Jenkins family burst into tears in court.
With the conviction, 23-year-old Jenkins received an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole.
“Taken by the Dallas County sheriff and handed over to the institution of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, where you shall serve a life sentence without the possibility of parole,” Judge Chika Anyiam said after Jenkins was found guilty.
Andre Emmett was shot and killed outside his Old East Dallas home in 2019 during a robbery.
Keith Johnson and Michael Lucky also face capital murder charges. Their cases are expected to go to trial later this year.
During the victim impact statement Emmett’s mother talked about how much the Dallas Carter grad loved his two daughters, Kennedy and Zara.
“I have lost half of my heart. Half of my heart is gone,” she said, before turning her comments to Jenkins. “What did you want from him, jewelry? A watch? He gave you what you asked for.”
Sobbing could be heard throughout the courtroom as Oliver talked about her son.
“He was so excited about the babies. He was happy to be a dad. He was so excited to be a dad,” she said.
Oliver also told Jenkins she was praying for his children, if he had any.
“But when you take a person’s life for no reason other than your own, all I can say for you sir, God have mercy upon your soul cause you truly…you need him, you need him,” she said.
Family and loved ones of Jenkins reacted to his conviction and life sentence.
“His first comment to me was tell mom to stop crying, it’s going to be OK,” defense attorney Robbie McClung said. “He is ready to move on and wants his family to relax and know that he’s handling things and they don’t need to worry about him.”
McClung called the jurors thought-driven, adding she was hopeful after jurors sent notes about testimony.
“But it was a little surprising that before those notes could even be answered, that they came back with a verdict,” McClung added.
The key evidence was GPS and cell phone tracking that placed Jenkins and a Chrysler 300 used in the robbery and murder outside Emmett’s home.
Emmett’s doorbell camera capturing images and voices from the ambush, and the gunshots that cut down Emmett as he tried to run.
Closing arguments in the trial were held on Thursday.
The prosecution claims tracking evidence from Jenkins’ phone places him at the murder scene and the other evidence was destroyed when a car believed to be used by the suspect was destroyed shortly after the shooting.
The defense argued that all the evidence against Jenkins is circumstantial.
During the trial, the prosecution called career criminals to the stand who claimed Jenkins told them they murdered Emmett.
Jenkins invoked his right not to take the stand in his own defense.
Andre Emmett played for the Memphis Grizzlies and New Jersey Nets in addition to the Big 3 league.