Before the sentencing, the Judge heard from Jocelyn Nelson, Jennings mother who begged the judge to show mercy on the child… She begged the judge to show mercy on her child, recognizing that her daughter is troubled. Jennings attorney plead with the Judge and asked that he not sentence her to 10 years, claiming she has no prior criminal record. [Of course if you omit the prostitution and drugs charges she was arrested on 2 weeks before Amir was reported missing] The Judge said he wasn’t swayed and ‘doesn’t take into account what family members have to say when sentencing’.
Jennings did not take the stand during the trial, but friends did say saw Jennings kick Amir and squeeze his hand when he wouldn’t say ‘mama’. It has been said in the trial that Jennings wanted to throw Amir out the window on the highway, selling him, or even giving him away. Her mother said on the stand that Jennings was stressed and needed a break from Amir, but DIDN’T believe that she would harm him. She also said that she had gone from agency to agency trying to get help for Jennings.
Jenning has 9 month credit towards her 10 year sentence, and believes that Amir is alive.
I hope this SETS the stage for Elizabeth Johnson whose trial starts 19 September 2012!
9 September 2012: As many of you know, the trial against Zinah Jennings is underway. The trial started 27 August 2012, and Friday morning [31 August] Jennings was taken to the hospital and gave birth to a baby girl.
Yesterday the defense tried to get a mistrial in the case, stating that Jennings may not be physically fit for trial. The Judge denied the motion for a mistrial.
It is unknown who will be taking care of the baby, but Jennings mother said she was preparing. After the birth, the state DSS [Department of Social Services] will determine with the family who will take care of the baby.
I do hope that Jennings never gets custody of this child! I have a feeling that she could somewhere down the line get custody, and we will have another Jerice Hunter on the loose!
Rest in Peace Amir Jennings!