1991 murder suspect found guilty
Donald Jenkins, Jr. was found guilty for the 1991 murder of 20-year-old Belinda Thompson on December 2, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Thursday. He will be sentenced December 14, at 9 a.m.
In a stipulated facts and evidence trial in front of Judge Hillary Caligiuri, Jenkins, 58, of St. Paul, was found guilty of second-degree murder for the stabbing death of Ms. Thompson nearly 30 years ago. Jenkins was originally charged on December 20, 2018, with intentional second-degree murder after Minneapolis Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation reopened the case.
Jenkins was implicated in the homicide when DNA testing was conducted on a bloody washcloth found at the scene of the murder. Jenkins’ DNA could not be excluded from the mixture of DNA on the washcloth, but over 99% of the world’s population was excluded.
Jenkins was interviewed regarding this homicide in 1992, 2010, and 2018.
On December 18, 2018, Jenkins finally admitted to the killing of Ms. Thompson. According to the criminal complaint, Jenkins blurted out, “My DNA is there, I did it.” He went on to tell investigators, “She let me in… And, man, I can’t even say. I just know I saw a knife, and I grabbed it, and I hit her. And she fell. Then I blacked out.” He recounted that he stabbed the victim in the apartment.
Jenkins waived his right to a jury trial and agreed to a court trial based upon stipulated facts and evidence upon a count of intentional second-degree murder.
On November 6, 2020, the stipulated facts and evidence trial was submitted to the Court and closing arguments occurred on November 24, 2020. Eight days later, Judge Hillary Caligiuri found Jenkins guilty of intentional second-degree murder.