Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

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Normal Zinah Jennings, Mom of Amir Jennings, Indicted by Grand Jury

Post by Wrapitup on Thu May 10, 2012 4:31 pm

4:43 PM, May 10, 2012

Written by Tony Santaella

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A grand jury indicted the mother of a missing Columbia toddler Thursday afternoon.

Zinah Jennings now faces a charge of unlawful conduct toward a child.

Zinah Jenning's son, Amir Jennings, was last seen around Thanksgiving. Columbia police have said Zinah Jennings has been uncooperative.

Since the disappearance became public, officers have received plenty of leads, but none that have provided the clues necessary to find the child.

Zinah Jennings herself was listed as missing for a time, but she resurfaced after a car accident in late December. Investigators have since pursued leads in other states, including the Atlanta area.

Police questioned her several times, and a warrant was issued for Zinah on December 29th on a charge of unlawful conduct towards a child.

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Wrapitup on Thu May 10, 2012 4:35 pm

Posted: May 10, 2012 3:04 PM CDT
Updated: May 10, 2012 3:30 PM CDT
By Jason Old

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Richland County Grand Jury has decided that the mother of a boy who mysteriously disappeared almost six months ago will go to trial.

Zinah Jennings was indicted late Thursday on charges of unlawful neglect of a child.

Jennings, has been in jail for the last 5 months in connection with the disappearance of her 18-month-old son, Amir. The boy vanished shortly after Thanksgiving last year.

Columbia Police have been frustrated in their investigation largely by what they say is Zinah Jennings' refusal to cooperate with them and provide accurate information about Amir's whereabouts.

Jennings' lawyer told WIS last week that he fully expected the Grand Jury to indict his client.

Earlier this week, Amir's grandmother, Jocelyn Jennings, said Zinah has battled depression and a drinking problem. Jennings says she is no closer now to knowing what happened to her grandson than she was several months ago.

Jennings is being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on $150,000 bond.

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Normal Zinah Jennings in solitary confinement after fight with nurse

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:29 am

by Brian McConchie
Posted: 06.01.2012 at 4:41 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - The mother of missing Columbia toddler Amir Jennings is currently in solitary confinement after an incident with a nurse at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

Jennings' attorney, Hemphill Pride, says his client got in an altercation with a nurse giving her court-ordered psychiatric medication. As punishment, Jennings is serving 90 days in solitary confinement.

Zinah Jennings has been in jail since late December. She and her son, Amir, who was 18 months at the time, were reported missing earlier that month. Jennings was arrested weeks later after a car crash in Columbia. She is charged with unlawful conduct toward a child.

Columbia police say Jennings has not cooperated with him them in the search for her missing son.

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Normal Missing SC Boy's Mom Wants Case Nixed

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:13 pm

By MEG KINNARD Associated Press
COLUMBIA, S.C. June 7, 2012 (AP)

A judge should throw out an indictment against the mother of a missing South Carolina toddler because prosecutors don't have enough evidence to prove their case and are only holding Zinah Jennings because she won't tell them where her son is, the woman's attorney said Thursday.

"You can't weigh the rights of a defendant against the rights of a missing child," Jennings' attorney, Hemphill Pride II, said in court. "The entire holding of Zinah Jennings in this case is a mere pretext."

Judge G. Thomas Cooper set a July trial date for Jennings, whose son, Amir, was 18 months old when he was last seen around Thanksgiving. Zinah Jennings' mother reported her missing several weeks later, telling police she thought her daughter and grandson were in Atlanta but that she was receiving evasive answers when she asked about Amir.

Speaking to police after a Christmas Eve car wreck, Jennings first said she had no children and then said her son was with relatives and friends in cities from Atlanta to Charlotte, N.C. Investigators say they chased down Jennings' stories in several states but arrested her after several dead ends.

Prosecutors said Amir's blood was found on blankets in Jennings' car. Agents have used cadaver dogs to search a wide rural area but found no sign of the boy.

Clad in a black and white jail outfit and visibly pregnant, Jennings, 23, was shackled at the ankles during Thursday's hearing. Cooper allowed her handcuffs to be removed while she was in the courtroom.

She was indicted last month on a charge of unlawful conduct toward a child. On Thursday, Pride said prosecutors hadn't included enough information in their indictment, like specific allegations about how Jennings had allegedly harmed her child, and asked that it be thrown out.

Pride also detailed the interrogation tactics used by police trying to elicit information from the young mother about her son's whereabouts. According to the attorney, police used Jennings' half-sister, a minister and even the love of a dog to try to get her to say where Amir was.

"'Zinah, baby, I want to pray with you,'" Pride said, paraphrasing the minister's interaction with his client. "And then at the end of the prayer says, 'Where's the baby?'"

During all of those initial conversations, and in ones since, Jennings has consistently refused to discuss Amir's whereabouts, saying only that he is safe, Pride said.

"The case should be dismissed," Pride said. "You don't hold people in order to make someone tell you where a child is."

Cooper gave prosecutors until Monday to respond in writing to Pride's arguments. On Thursday, prosecutor Dolly Justice Garfield said that she felt confident in the case against Jennings.

"We are charging her with abandoning the child," Garfield said. "It would be a travesty to abandon the indictment when South Carolina law provides exactly what is reflected."

Cooper also ordered that Jennings be evaluated to see if she is competent to stand trial. She has already received one evaluation, which found that she has schizophrenia. Jennings was prescribed Risperdal, but Pride has said he fears that the drug is harmful to his client's unborn baby, due to be born in August.

Since last week, Jennings has been held in solitary confinement after a confrontation with a jailhouse nurse.

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Normal Grandmother Clings to Hope She'll Find Missing Grandson

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:43 pm

By MEG KINNARD Associated Press
COLUMBIA, S.C. June 24, 2012 (AP)

Six months into the search for her missing grandson, Jocelyn Jennings Nelson hasn't lost hope for the future: She always makes sure to keep his favorite food, avocado, on hand for his eventual return.

There are big milestones looming in the South Carolina grandmother's life. Her grandson Amir, who hasn't been seen since Thanksgiving, turns 2 later this month. Her daughter Zinah Jennings, jailed on charges related to her young son's disappearance, must prepare for trial.

And, at the end of this summer, Nelson will become a grandmother for the second time to a child she hopes can grow up alongside big brother Amir.

Nelson has patiently — and mostly silently — kept vigil since early December, when she reported both Amir and his mother missing after fielding evasive answers from her daughter as to the boy's whereabouts. Based on Jennings' vows to police that she'd left the boy with relatives and friends, authorities combed cities from Atlanta to Charlotte, N.C., but found nothing.

Jennings was charged with unlawful conduct toward a child for not giving authorities a straight answer about where Amir was, only assuring them the boy was safe. Officers say they still field tips and have offered rewards for information, but their on-the-ground work has faded from view as prosecutors prepare for trial.

Six months later, the little boy described by his grandmother as a lover of stories and cartoons is still missing. His headstrong, 23-year-old mother is still in jail as her attorney fights to drop the charges , refusing to give details to her mother, authorities or even her own lawyer about where she left Amir and with whom.

Confident her daughter can take care of herself, Nelson said she is focused on searching for Amir — and readying to take care of him once he returns home.

"By now, he has all of his teeth," Nelson said recently, a smile spreading across her face.

On June 28, that little boy with the newly toothy grin turns 2, a special day Nelson is marking in her own way. Taking a cake, balloons and pictures over the weekend to a Columbia-area flea market she frequents, Nelson hoped to energize the public into keeping their eyes open for any information that might bring Amir home.

"I want to encourage the public to keep looking," Nelson said. "We have not exhausted every avenue."

As she wrestles with Amir's disappearance and her daughter's incarceration, Nelson is also getting ready to welcome a second grandchild. Jennings is pregnant, due to give birth later this year, and while she doesn't know the gender, Nelson says friends have already reached out with donated goods and clothes.

Even if Jennings is released from jail, Nelson said she feels that her daughter — who has struggled with depression and is currently taking court-ordered medication for schizophrenia — should be committed to a facility for treatment. Whatever the outcome of Jennings' case, Nelson said she is focusing now on this new grandchild — one she hopes will grow up alongside big brother Amir.

"I am preparing to be a grandmother again, and all of my plans for my future include both of my grandkids," says Nelson. "I plan to step forward. ... Amir will have something growing up that Zinah didn't have, and that's a sibling."

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:32 pm

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Guest on Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:16 pm

I am Barf about another case of child goes missing and Mommy won't tell the truth about what happened. More than anything I am so mad that she is having another baby. How can anyone being happy about this knowing Mommy is mentally ill and could pass her illness down to her children? We don't need more messed up people in this world.
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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by raine1953 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:22 pm

I agree LM. She needs to be sterilized whether she ends up in prison or a mental facility (hopefully for the rest of her life) because she can get pregnant in these places. That child probably will never be found and this silence that seems to be the name of the game lately just maddens me.
I do feel for the Grandmother, she says the responsibility of the missing child lies with her daughter.
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Normal Attorney pushes for release of pregnant, ‘mentally ill’ mother of missing toddler

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:17 pm

Published: June 29, 2012
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COLUMBIA — The legal maneuvers over the incarceration of Zinah Jennings continued Thursday as her missing son’s 2nd birthday passed.

Hemphill Pride, Jennings’ attorney, filed a motion Thursday asking a circuit court judge to release his client from jail while her case is pending. He argued that any other 23-year-old who was a first-time offender would have been given a more reasonable bond on a cruelty to children charge.

Jennings, who is pregnant, remains in solitary confinement at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, where she is jailed on a $150,000 bond.

Jennings’ trial is supposed to be in late July or early August, Pride said. But the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s office said a date has not been set.

Her son, Amir Jennings, was last seen by his family at Thanksgiving when he was 18 months old. His mother has refused to talk to police about his whereabouts.

The Columbia Police Department has an ongoing investigation into the toddler’s disappearance and where he might be.

Zinah Jennings was placed in solitary confinement after she allegedly assaulted a nurse who was giving her medication. It was the second time she has been involved in an altercation at the jail since she was arrested in late December.

Pride also is awaiting a judge’s ruling on his motion requesting the cruelty to children charge be dropped. Pride argued that police and prosecutors have not presented any evidence to prove that Amir Jennings has been harmed or that his mother is responsible for his disappearance.

Prosecutors filed a response saying the indictment had met the requirements under S.C. law.

Jennings is into her third trimester of her pregnancy and she has been prescribed a medication used to treat schizophrenia. Pride said his client would fare better outside of the jail where she could see private doctors for prenatal care and mental health treatment.

In solitary confinement, Jennings is not allowed visitors or time in an outdoor recreation yard, Pride said.

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When asked how his client was doing, Pride said, “Terrible. She’s in the third trimester of a pregnancy. Mentally ill. In solitary confinement.”

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Normal Blood on blanket matched missing SC boy's, police say

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:36 am

Published: July 31, 2012

By Noelle Phillips — [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

COLUMBIA — Bloodstains found on a blanket in Zinah Jennings’ car trunk belonged to the South Carolina woman's missing son, police said during a Monday court hearing.

But a judge must decide whether the blanket can be presented as evidence in her trial, set for late August.

Hemphill Pride II, Jennings’ defense attorney, asked Monday that the bloodstained blanket be barred from the trial because it would prejudice a jury in deciding whether Jennings should be convicted of unlawful conduct toward a child.

She has not been charged with killing her toddler son, Amir, but the blanket would imply that, Pride said.

“I would never overcome that,” Pride said. “Their minds would be set on cadaver dogs and the blood on the blanket in the back of the car.”

Judge Knox McMahon said he did not have enough information Monday to rule on the motion but said he would conduct a closed hearing at a later date.

Arguments over the blanket were part of a daylong, pretrial hearing in which Pride asked the judge to suppress search warrants and statements Jennings made to police during their investigation. He also requested that the judge bar television cameras from the trial.

Jennings is scheduled to go to trial Aug. 27.

She was charged in December with unlawful conduct toward a child after she refused to tell Columbia Police Department investigators what happened to her son. Amir was last seen Dec. 6 when he was 18 months old, according to Monday’s court testimony.

Jennings is expected to give birth to a second child in September, Pride said. She wore brown dress slacks and an off-white maternity blouse during Monday’s hearing after Pride requested that she be allowed to wear street clothes in court rather than a jail-issued jumpsuit.

Jennings entered the courtroom wearing handcuffs and leg shackles but those were removed with Knox’s approval.

Knox denied Pride’s request to suppress Jennings’s statements to police or the search warrants. In those statements, Jennings denied having a child and then at least twice misled police as to his whereabouts.

Columbia Police received at least 14 search warrants as they tried to find Amir, according to Monday’s testimony.

Police investigator Colin Bailey said he searched Jennings’ Dodge Neon car, her bedroom at her mother’s house, the yard and sheds at the house. They were looking for cell phone records, receipts, notes or any other evidence that could help police retrace Jennings’ travels before her son went missing.

Cadaver dogs indicated they smelled a human body inside the car’s back seat and trunk, Bailey said. He said he found a light blue baby blanket and tests indicated the bloodstains on it were from Amir.

McMahon said he was reluctant to ban television coverage of the trial but would request a larger-than-usual jury pool and would accept an expanded list of questions that attorneys may ask potential jurors during the selection process.

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:50 am

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Guest on Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:20 am

I hate that some things like a bloody blanket are with held from juror's. A Juror needs the whole picture in order to serve justice.
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Normal Zinah Jennings back in court

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:52 pm

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:56 pm

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The lawyer for a woman charged in connection with her son's disappearance is working to get a blood stained blanket found in her car suppressed as evidence.

Attorney Hemphill Pride and his client, Zinah Jennings, were in court again Wednesday morning. Jennings is charged with unlawful conduct toward a child in the disappearance of her son, Amir Jennings.

The last time anyone saw the little boy was in late November of last year.

Back in early January, Columbia Police say they found a bloody blanket during a search of Zinah Jennings's car. Last week, prosecutors said in court that the blood on the blanket was Amir's.

During Wednesday's hearing, two witnesses were called to the stand to describe the search: a crime scene investigator who helped process the car and the handler for the cadaver dog that looked in the vehicle.

The two were each asked questions about their qualifications, as well as the process and procedure of the search.

Pride wants a judge to throw out the blanket as evidence, saying it could be prejudicial to his client during her trial. Pride must turn in an oral argument to suppress the evidence by Thursday.

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:14 am

Zinah Jennings Facing Assault Charge
8:48 AM, Aug 10, 2012

Written by
Lauren Talarico

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The mother of a Columbia boy who has been missing since last year is now facing an assault charge.

Jail records show that Zinah Jennings has been charged with third-degree assault and battery.

Jennings' attorney has said the charged stems from an allegation that his client pushed and shoved a jailhouse nurse over medication earlier this year. Jennings has been ordered by a judge to take an antipsychotic drug.

Jennings has been in jail since late last year on a charge of cruelty to children. Authorities say she has refused to tell them the whereabouts of her son, 2-year-old Amir Jennings.

The young mother is pregnant with a second child. Her trial on the cruelty charge is set to begin later this month.

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Normal Bloodstains allowed in SC mom's trial

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:00 am

MEG KINNARD, Associated Press, By MEG KINNARD,
Updated 2:49 p.m., Wednesday, August 15, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A judge ruled Wednesday that bloodstains belonging to a missing Columbia toddler may be used as evidence in the coming trial of his mother on a charge of unlawful conduct toward a child.

An attorney for Zinah Jennings had argued that prosecutors shouldn't be allowed to introduce the evidence at trial because it came from the trunk of her car, which sat in a salvage yard for the week between Jennings' Christmas Eve wreck and the day it was taken into police custody. During that week, Jennings' attorney argued, anyone could have accessed the car, which wasn't guarded or sealed with police tape.

"You don't know today who else it was exposed to," attorney Hemphill Pride II said in court. "And that is very important in this case."

But Circuit Judge Knox McMahon sided with prosecutors, who argued that there is no evidence that anyone tampered with the car and that police are only tasked with maintaining evidence once they retrieve it — as, in this case, from a salvage yard — and aren't responsible for it prior to that.

"We do not feel that this is actually a chain of evidence issue," prosecutor Luck Campbell said.

Clad in a striped, collared shirt, Jennings sat quietly in court Wednesday, speaking only with her mother and other relatives during a short break.

Jennings has been jailed since December as police have investigated the disappearance of her son, Amir. Jennings was charged with unlawful conduct toward a child after authorities say she told them several inconsistent and false stories about who is caring for him.

Amir was 18 months old when he was last seen around Thanksgiving. Jennings' mother reported her missing several weeks later, telling police that she thought her daughter and grandson were in Atlanta but that she was receiving evasive answers when she asked about the boy.

Speaking to police after the Christmas Eve car wreck in downtown Columbia, Jennings first said she had no children and then said the boy was with relatives and friends in cities from Atlanta to Charlotte, N.C. Investigators say they chased down Jennings' stories in several states but arrested her after several dead ends.

Prosecutors and police have said Amir's blood was found on blankets in Jennings' car. Agents searched a wide rural area but found no sign of him.

Jennings has not been charged in the boy's death, but her attorney had asked that the blood not be allowed to be used as evidence in her coming trial, saying the blanket would imply that. Pride has also asked a judge to suppress search warrants and statements that Jennings made to police during their investigation and has asked that television cameras be barred from her trial.

On Wednesday, Jennings' aunt testified that she took her niece to a salvage yard to retrieve clothes and other belongings from her totaled car two days after the wreck. Questioned by Jennings' attorney, Millie Houston also said that no police officers were guarding the car, and there was no evidence tape visible.

Jennings' mother also testified that she stored bags of her daughter's things, ultimately washing and storing the items and clothing within.

Jennings' trial is set to begin Aug. 27. In court Wednesday, McMahon said that he has ruled that evidence related to cadaver dogs was relevant to the case but may not be introduced during Jennings' coming trial. Dogs were used to search the car as well as the home of Jennings' mother. McMahon also ruled that the blanket was admissible at trial.

Pride has long said that police have unjustly charged his client for simply refusing to speak with them.

"You can't make somebody cooperate with you ... and that's not a basis, in this country, for an arrest," Pride said.

Last week, Jennings was also charged with assault. Pride has said that the charge stems from an allegation that his client pushed and shoved a jailhouse nurse over medication earlier this year. Jennings has been ordered by a judge to take Risperdal, an antipsychotic drug, while in jail awaiting trial. After the fight, she was ordered to be held in solitary confinement for 90 days.

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by hnyb on Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:29 pm

I'm glad the judge is allowing the bloodstains. It only makes sense to allow them in the case of a missing child.

The statement above about how anybody had access to the car while it was in the salvage yard sure sounds like what Cindy said. Remember she said maybe somebody else put a dead body in Casey's trunk. I do not think so
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Normal SC mother set to be tried in missing boy case

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:38 pm

MEG KINNARD, Associated Press
Updated 7:26 a.m., Sunday, August 26, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — After eight months in jail, the mother of a missing South Carolina boy is expected in court this week for a trial on a charge of lying to police about her now 2-year-old son's whereabouts.

The trial of Zinah Jennings is expected to get under way in a Columbia courtroom on Monday. The 23-year-old mother has been jailed since December as police have investigated the disappearance of her son, Amir. Jennings was charged with unlawful conduct toward a child after authorities say she told them several inconsistent and false stories about who is caring for the boy, whose second birthday was earlier this summer.

Police say Jennings, who is due to give birth to a second child in several weeks, has refused to tell investigators where she left Amir. Speaking to police after a Christmas Eve car wreck in downtown Columbia, Jennings first said she had no children and then said the boy was with relatives and friends in cities from Atlanta to Charlotte, N.C. Investigators say they chased down Jennings' stories in several states but arrested her after several dead ends and much frustration.

Prosecutors and police have said Amir's blood was found on blankets in Jennings' car. Acting on a tip, agents searched a wide rural area near Columbia but found no sign of him.

Jennings has not been charged in the boy's death, and her attorney has long said that police have unjustly accused the mother for simply refusing to speak with them. Defense attorney Hemphill Pride also asked a judge not to allow the blood evidence to be used at trial, saying the blanket would implicate his client and arguing that the blood came from the trunk of Jennings' car, which sat in a salvage yard for a week before it was taken into police custody. During that week, Pride argued, anyone could have accessed the car, which wasn't guarded or sealed with police tape.

Earlier this month, a judge sided with prosecutors, who argued that there is no evidence that anyone tampered with the car and that police are tasked only with maintaining evidence once they retrieve it and aren't responsible for it before that.

A judge has also ruled that evidence related to cadaver dogs was relevant to the case but may not be introduced at trial. Dogs were used to search the car as well as the home of Jennings' mother.

Pride has also asked a judge to suppress search warrants and statements that Jennings made to police during their investigation and has asked that television cameras be barred from her trial. A judge has not ruled on those requests.

If convicted, Jennings faces up to 10 years in prison.
She is also facing an assault charge stemming from an allegation that Jennings pushed and shoved a jailhouse nurse over medication earlier this year. Jennings has been ordered by a judge to take Risperdal, an antipsychotic drug, while in jail. After the fight, she was ordered to be held in solitary confinement for 90 days, a restriction that ended recently.

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Normal Zinah Jennings Competent to Stand Trial

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:55 pm

12:38 PM, Aug 27, 2012

Written by
Tony Santaella

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A judge has ruled the mother of a missing Columbia toddler competent to stand trial.

Zinah Jennings was in court Monday morning for the beginning of her trial on a charge of unlawful conduct toward a child.

A psychologist met with Jennings Monday morning, and concluded that she was mentally sound to begin the trial.

Jennings's son, Amir Jennings, was last seen around Thanksgiving. Police say Jennings has given conflicting stories about the boy's whereabouts.

Jennings is pregnant with a second child and faces up to 10 years in prison if she's convicted.

Jury selection is expected to begin in the afternoon.

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:06 pm

SC mother set to be tried in missing boy case

By MEG KINNARD
Associated Press
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012 at 7:49 p.m.

A South Carolina jury selected Monday was ready to hear the case of a mother charged with not being honest with investigators concerning the whereabouts of her missing son.

The jury of eight women, four men and four alternates was selected Monday in Columbia to hear testimony in the case of Zinah Jennings. She's charged with unlawful conduct toward a child. Officials have said they expect the trial to last several weeks.

Circuit Judge Knox McMahon asked several dozen potential jurors whether they knew anything about the case against Zinah Jennings. Earlier Monday, McMahon ruled that Jennings was competent to stand trial, and opening statements are expected Tuesday.

The 23-year-old mother has been jailed since December while police investigated the disappearance of her son, Amir. Jennings was charged with unlawful conduct toward a child after authorities say she told them several inconsistent and false stories about who is caring for the boy, whose second birthday was earlier this summer.

Police say Jennings, who is due to give birth to a second child in several weeks, has refused to tell investigators where she left Amir. Speaking to police after a Christmas Eve car wreck in downtown Columbia, Jennings first said she had no children and then said the boy was with relatives and friends in cities from Atlanta to Charlotte, N.C. Investigators say they chased down Jennings' stories but arrested her after several dead ends and much frustration.

Prosecutors and police have said Amir's blood was found on blankets in Jennings' car. Acting on a tip, agents searched a wide rural area near Columbia but found no sign of him.

Jennings has not been charged in the boy's death, and her attorney has long said that police have unjustly accused the mother for simply refusing to speak with them. Defense attorney Hemphill Pride also asked a judge not to allow the blood evidence to be used at trial, saying the blanket would implicate his client and arguing that the blood came from the trunk of Jennings' car, which sat in a salvage yard for a week before it was taken into police custody. During that week, Pride argued, anyone could have accessed the car, which wasn't guarded or sealed with police tape.

Earlier this month, a judge sided with prosecutors, who argued that there is no evidence that anyone tampered with the car and that police are tasked only with maintaining evidence once they retrieve it and aren't responsible for it before that.

A judge has also ruled that evidence related to cadaver dogs was relevant to the case but may not be introduced at trial. pulling hair Dogs were used to search the car as well as the home of Jennings' mother.

If convicted, Jennings faces up to 10 years in prison. She is also facing an assault charge stemming from an allegation that Jennings pushed and shoved a jailhouse nurse over medication earlier this year. Jennings has been ordered by a judge to take Risperdal, an antipsychotic drug, while in jail. After the fight, she served 90 days in solitary confinement.

Officials have said they expect Jennings' trial to last several weeks.

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Normal Zinah Jennings told cops she needed break from parenting

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:46 pm

by WACH Fox News Center
Posted: 08.28.2012 at 4:42 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH / AP) -- The South Carolina mother on trial in the case of her missing son told police she needed a break from parenting.

Prosecutors on Tuesday played a lengthy interview with Zinah Jennings. In the tape, a police sergeant tells Jennings he knows parenting is stressful and understands that she needs time away from her son.

But Sgt. Arthur Thomas also says he needs to see the boy to ensure he's OK.

In the approximately two-hour long tape, Jennings also said she feels worthless and doesn't care for her mother. She could be heard on the tape saying "no one cares about me."

Jennings is on trial for unlawful conduct toward a child. Her son was 18 months old when he was last seen around Thanksgiving.

Chief Randy Scott, two nurses with Palmetto Richland Hospital and officers with the Columbia Police Department have been questioned in the trial.

Both of the nurses said that Jennings came into the hospital in the early morning hours of Christmas Eve after being involved in a car accident. They said she was very vocal and it was hard to assess Jennings. To calm her down the nurses say they asked if she had any children. Jennings told them no. When the nurses cut off her clothes to provide medical attention to Jennings, they noticed a cesarean section scar. The nurses said they asked about the scar and Jennings told them she had a little girl.

During the cross examination of the nurses, they were asked about only writing down that Jennings had a lip contusion. There was no report of any head trauma even though Jennings was being held in the the unit for trauma victims.

Two officers, including one Special Victims Unit investigator, with the Columbia Police Department were also called to the stand.

Jennings has said her son is safe but won't say where he is. Her attorney said Tuesday police don't have any evidence his client harmed her son.

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:50 pm

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The jury in the trial of the mother of a missing Columbia toddler heard from the police chief, nurses who examined her--and the defendant herself, on tape.

Tuesday, prosecutors began laying out their case against 24-year-old Zinah Jennings, who's charged with unlawful neglect of a child. He son, Amir Jennings, hasn't been seen since late November of last year.

Before witnesses were called, Jennings's lawyer, Hemphill Pride, made a motion to have the case thrown out, but that was rejected by the judge.

When testimony began, the jury--eight men, four women--heard from Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott. Scott admitted that he and his investigators don't have any indication at this time where Amir is.

The jurors also heard from two nurses who examined Jennings after she was involved in a car crash in late December. They testified that Jennings was "uncooperative and "yelling and screaming. One of them said that when she asked Jennings if she had any children, Jennings said she didn't. Then the nurses saw her c-section scar and asked her again, and Zinah said she had a girl.

After a recess, prosecutors played an audio tape they say is of Jennings talking to investigators. The sound on the tape was at times difficult to make out, so much so that transcripts had to be provided to the jury. But at one point, the investigator told the woman that she wouldn't be allowed to leave without checking to make sure the child is safe.

When the investigators asked "have you hurt this child," and "is he ok, is he alive," Jennings could be heard crying on the tape, but didn't respond.

Jennings is pregnant with a second child and faces up to 10 years in prison if she's convicted.

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by lisette on Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:41 pm

Her attorney said Tuesday police don't have any evidence his client harmed her son.

Well, WHERE IS HE then!??? Electric Chair
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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:48 pm

EXACTLY!!!!!

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Normal Detective to Zinah Jennings: ‘You’re not answering. Is he OK?’/Testimony focuses on police interview after Amir disappeared

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:00 am

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The mother of a missing Columbia toddler repeatedly refused to tell police detectives where her son was during an interview with police roughly one month after he was reported missing.

Details of that 21/2-hour taped interview Dec. 30 came out during testimony Tuesday in the trial of 23-year-old Zinah Jennings. Her son, Amir, has not been seen since just after Thanksgiving, when he was 18 months old. She is charged with unlawful conduct toward a child.

“Is the baby OK? Is he OK? ...You are not answering. Is he OK?” city police Sgt. Arthur Thomas is heard asking Jennings during the interrogation.

At another point, Thomas — who begged, pleaded and cajoled Jennings — said, “I got to make sure he is not lying dead somewhere ... I have to lay eyes on him. Like I’m laying eyes on you.”

Thomas’ statements and Jennings’ replies were played for the Richland County jury of eight women and four men Tuesday afternoon.

On the tape, Jennings tells Thomas Amir is in a safe place, but it would be too stressful for her to see him.

Thomas begged her to show him the residence where Amir was living.

“You don’t have to see him. You can stay in the car. ... you don’t have to go to the door. You don’t have to be seen,” Thomas said.

At the end of the session, with no answers on Amir’s whereabouts, Thomas and police investigator Colin Bailey arrested Jennings on the unlawful conduct charge.

In cross-examination by defense lawyer Hemphill Pride, he asked Thomas questions aimed at showing it’s possible that Amir is alive and being well cared for, and that police had no actual evidence to the contrary.

“Did you have any facts that would support a charge of abandonment?” Pride asked Thomas.

Under questioning, Thomas testified, “If she does not communicate and at no point checks on the welfare of the child, that is abandonment … The crux of this case is you have an 18-month-old child missing and we have no earthly idea of where the child is.”

Thomas also testified that Jennings had given false statements about Amir’s whereabouts, including that a friend named Ernest Robinson was caring for him.

But there is no Ernest Robinson, Thomas testified.

Thomas was the fifth and final witness prosecutors Dolly Justice Garfield and Luck Campbell put up Tuesday.

In opening statements to jurors earlier in the day, prosecution and defense lawyers exchanged starkly different versions of the case.

“It is our job to prove to you Ms. Jennings is guilty of abandoning Amir Jennings,” Garfield told the jury.
“It is not your job to forgive Ms. Jennings or try to figure out why she did what she did,” she added.
Pride, his arms crossed, told the jury that the state has no case at all.

“Just because a mother won’t tell the state where her child is, that doesn’t constitute abandoning a child,” Pride told jurors.

“If the state doesn’t have the facts,” he added, “then they don’t have a case.”

Unlawful conduct toward a child is a felony that carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence upon conviction. The charge includes not only doing harm to a child, but also abandoning a child.

In early December, Amir’s grandmother, Jocelyn Jennings, filed a missing persons report with Columbia police, saying both Amir and Zinah Jennings were missing.

On Dec. 24, Zinah Jennings was involved in a single-car accident in downtown Columbia. It was then that police officer Christon Miller, who entered her car tag in a national database, discovered that she and Amir were listed as missing.

Zinah Jennings proceeded to give conflicting statements to nurses and police about where Amir was. Police arrested her Dec. 30, and she has been in jail since, awaiting trial.

Testimony will resume at 9 a.m. today with Roderick Mitchell, Amir’s biological father, expected to take the stand.

The trial before Judge Knox McMahon is expected to feature more than 50 witnesses.

Other witnesses who testified Tuesday included Robin Ward and Keyonia Johnson, two registered nurses at the Palmetto Health Richland hospital emergency room who treated Zinah Jennings after her traffic incident. Columbia police chief Randy Scott and officer Miller, who worked the traffic crash, testified Jennings smelled of alcohol. According to prosecution and defense attorneys, Jennings had a history of mental illness, alcohol and drug abuse.

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In many ways, this case reminds me of TMLS. Jennings, like CA, Refuses to tell anyone where her child is. The ONLY difference is that Amir's body has not been found but I don't believe for one second this poor child is alive.

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Normal Friend: Mother pondered selling missing SC boy

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:23 pm

MEG KINNARD, Associated Press
Updated 2:33 p.m., Wednesday, August 29, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Overwhelmed by parenting, the mother of a missing South Carolina toddler considered giving away or selling her son to alleviate the stress, a high school friend testified Wednesday.

"She actually said, 'Sometimes, I think about giving him away,'" said Christian Dickerson, who called frequently to check up on her friend, Zinah Jennings. "She told me that she thought about selling him."

Jennings, 23, had planned her pregnancy, said Dickerson, who added that she saw Jennings abuse the boy when he was about a year old, in September 2011.

"She set him on the floor, and she kicked him and told him to go play," Dickerson said, adding that she knew her friend was stressed. "She said it's nothing like she expected, that sometimes she thinks about throwing him out of the car on the highway."

Jennings is on trial on a charge of illegal conduct toward a child. Her son, Amir, was 18 months when he was last seen around Thanksgiving in Columbia. Police say Jennings has told them misleading, false stories about where the boy is.

Earlier Wednesday, the boy's father testified that he wanted to play more of a role in his son's life but that Jennings wouldn't let him. After their two-year relationship ended, Roderick Mitchell testified that he was surprised when Jennings allowed him to spend a day with Amir in November 2011.

A week later, Mitchell said he tried to see Amir again, but Jennings wouldn't allow it.

"I picked him up, gave him a hug and a kiss, and I left," Mitchell said of November 29, 2011, the last day he saw his son.

Several of Mitchell's relatives and some of Jennings' friends testified Wednesday that they offered to watch Amir for Jennings but she never took them up on those offers.

"I said, you can bring him over here anytime, and she refused," said Charisma Mitchell, Roderick Mitchell's sister.

Prosecutors began portraying Jennings' apparent stress Tuesday, when they played a two-hour interview in which she told police searching for the boy that she needed a break from the child. Jennings said she was stressed from parenting, criticism from her mother and being unemployed and needed some time to herself. An officer is heard repeatedly telling Jennings he understands her situation and just needs to see the boy to know that he's OK.

But Jennings still refuses to give police details about her son, becoming defensive when talking about caring for him and saying she had known the people with whom she left him for a long time.

"It's very frustrating," says Jennings, referring to pressure she felt from her mother to succeed and be a good parent. "All eyes are on me."

The interview was from a conversation Jennings had with police several days after a Christmas Eve car wreck in downtown Columbia. Jennings initially told police she had no children, then said the boy was with relatives and friends in cities from Atlanta to Charlotte, N.C. Investigators chased down Jennings' stories but arrested her after several dead ends.

Prosecutors also played a bank's surveillance video from November 29, 2011 — the last day Amir was reported seen — in which the boy runs around the bank and tries to go through the front doors while his mother talks with a teller.

In other testimony, a man who met Jennings a day later in Augusta, Ga., said he saw no child with Jennings and no car seat in her car. He said she introduced herself as a 19-year-old college student living in the area. Jennings' trips to Augusta were backed up by cellphone records analyzed by an FBI agent.

Jennings' trial is expected to last several weeks, and she faces up to 10 years if convicted.

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:24 pm

Again, just like TMLS, Jennings could have left her son with his bio father (Caylee could have been left with Cindy) or friends and she refused. WHY????

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Normal Father of Amir Jennings testifies against missing toddler's mother

Post by raine1953 on Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:12 pm

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH / AP) -- Prosecutors are continuing to make their case against the mother of a missing South Carolina boy.

Authorities have charged the young mother with neglect for giving them conflicting and false information about the whereabouts of her son. Amir Jennings was 18 months old when he was last seen around Thanksgiving.

The father of a missing South Carolina toddler says he wanted to play more of a role in his son's life but the boy's mother wouldn't let him.

Roderick Mitchell testified Wednesday that Zinah Jennings moved out of their apartment after the boy was born in June 2010 and wouldn't let him spent much time with Amir.

Mitchell said he was surprised when Zinah Jennings let him spend a day with their son last November.

The last days Mitchell says he spent with Amir were Nov. 22 and Nov. 29.

Mitchell says he loves Amir and he does love Zinah because she is the mother of his child. He said she was a good mother, but she could be possessive of Amir.

Mitchell gave Zinah $150 each time he got paid even though they were no longer dating or living together.

A long-time friend of Zinah's took the stand and said Zinah said she thought about throwing Amir out of a car window while driving down the highway when they were hanging out one day. The friend said Zinah told her it was too much taking care of a kid.

After Amir was born, she separated herself from the friend, whom she had known since middle school.

Tellers from the bank where Zinah took Amir in late November 2011 also testified in the case.

They said when Zinah came to the bank with her son, she was letting him run around the lobby without paying much attention to the toddler until bank employees brought it to her attention. They said Amir even opened doors and went outside.

The next time she went to the back on December 4 she did not have Amir with her. The witnesses said she looked confused at why the exact amount of money she thought was in the account wasn't there. She withdrew all of the money from her account except for the $5 required by bank policy to keep the account open.

A man from Augusta, Ga. was also questioned on Wednesday.

The man said he met Zinah at a gas station around Dec. 6, 2011. They exchanged phone numbers, but she never mentioned having a child and Amir was not with her at the time. A few days after their initial meeting Zinah met the man at his apartment. They had drinks and engaged in sexual activity.

Jennings' attorney requested that his testimony not be used in the case because it did not reference Amir. The judge ruled that it could be used because the man's story goes along with the tracking of Zinah during that time.

The boy's mother is pregnant again and is due to give birth to a second child in several weeks.

Authorities say the man she has sex with in Augusta, Ga. is not likely to be the father of Zinah's second child because the timing does not match up.

On Tuesday, prosecutors played a two-hour interview in which Jennings cried and told officers she needed a break from parenting. But Jennings wouldn't say where she'd left her son.

Zinah Jennings faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
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Roderick Mitchell testified Wednesday that Zinah Jennings moved out of their apartment after the boy was born in June 2010 and wouldn't let him spent much time with Amir.
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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:34 am

Again, she reminds me of CA. Seems to not have a watchful eye on her son, goes from man to man. I have no doubt she w/be convicted and we will Never know what really happened to Amir. MOO.

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Normal Zinah Jennings gives birth to second child.

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:34 pm

By Crandall Sims
Story Created: Aug 31, 2012 at 9:54 AM EDT
Story Updated: Aug 31, 2012 at 2:20 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- Zinah Jennings, mother of missing Midlands toddler Amir Jennings, has given birth to her second child.

Judge Knox McMahon announced in court Friday that Jennings gave birth to the child around 3:00 a.m. Friday.

The baby is reportedly a girl.

Jennings is on trial for the charge of Unlawful Conduct Toward a Child in connection with the disappearance of her now 2 year old son, Amir Jennings.

Friday, would've marked the fifth day of testimony in the case. Already 36 witnesses for the prosecution have taken the stand, some of the testimony potentially damaging to Jennings' defense.

Christian Dickerson, a childhood friend of Zinah's testified that Zinah once told her she thought of throwing Amir out of a car window and continuing on the highway. Dickerson also stated that Zinah once told her she thought about selling him or giving him away.

Amir Jennings disappeared around Thanksgiving of 2011.

The last reported sighting of the child, to date, is on bank surveillance
video in Columbia on November 29, 2011.

Thursday Zinah's sister, Denise Jennings, took the stand to say that she noticed a change in Zinah's role as a mother in the fall of 2011.

"Not deliberate neglect, but just she wasn't there. I did most of the care for him. She showed him a lot of love, but just seemed almost incapable of changing a diaper," says Denise Jennings.

Judge Knox McMahon ordered the trial into recess Friday morning until Tuesday, due to Jennings giving birth.

Also on Friday, Zinah Jennings' defense attorney, Hemphill Pride, stated that he will move for a mistrial when his client returns next week. Pride did not say why he would do so, but that he will give his reason when his client returns.

Court will resume Tuesday morning.

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This article does NOT say if the State is allowing her to keep this baby. I Hope NOT!!!!!

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:39 pm

Zinah Jennings delivers second child; trial delayed

By R. DARREN PRICE and JOHN MONK [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Zinah Jennings, the Columbia mother on trial in the case of her missing son, gave birth to her second child Friday morning, postponing court proceedings.

The 23-year-old gave birth to a baby girl early Friday morning, according to her attorney, Hemphill Pride II. The prosecution was expected to put up four witnesses Friday and possibly conclude their arguments. But the trial now is slated to resume at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday after the long Labor Day weekend.

It’s not immediately known who will have custody of the newborn, but Department of Social Services officials say that the custody of a child born to a mother who is being held in a jail is usually handled on a case-by-case basis. I would think she would not be able to even LOOK at her new baby if she doesn't have the decency to tell LE or Someone where her first child is!!! angry

Jennings is charged with unlawful conduct toward a child. Her first child, Amir, hasn’t been seen since last December, when the boy was 18 months old.

Jennings has told police and others conflicting stories about the boy’s whereabouts. If convicted, she could spend up to 10 years in prison. She has been in jail since December.
A visibly pregnant Jennings was present in a Richland County courtroom all week as prosecutors questioned three dozen witnesses. She stayed silent and kept her eyes down throughout the proceedings.

But by late Thursday afternoon, Jennings was in such obvious distress that Judge Knox McMahon asked her if she was all right. Up until this time, McMahon hadn't addressed her.

“Yes, sir,” she replied so softly she could barely be heard.
McMahon told her that if she was uncomfortable, they could recess the trial at any point and asked her if she understood.
“Yes, sir,” she replied, again quietly.
“Bring the jury in,” McMahon told a bailiff.
The trial continued for another 35 minutes while SLED forensic scientist Jennifer Clayton, a DNA expert, continued testifying. The jury was dismissed about 6:20 p.m.

At recesses, Zinah Jennings is escorted slowly to and from the courtroom by Pride and a uniformed female Richland County deputy. Pride and the deputy each would take one arm and support her while she slowly made her way up and down the steps that lead to her holding cell off the courtroom.

The trial has been a strenuous one even for healthy people, let alone a woman on the verge of giving birth. By Thursday, when court recessed for the day, the prosecution had put up 36 witnesses.

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:38 am

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Normal Motion for Mistrial in Zinah Jennings Trial Denied

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:56 pm

9:18 AM, Sep 4, 2012
Written by
Tony Santaella

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A judge has denied a motion for a mistrial in the case of Zinah Jennings, the mother of a missing Columbia toddler.

The ruling came Tuesday morning after Jennings's attorney, Hemphill Pride, argued the trial should be thrown out. Among other arguments, Pride said that the woman may not be physically fit for trial.

Jennings, 24, gave birth to a daughter last Friday. She was released from medical care Sunday.

Prosecutors, however, said that Pride had told them before the trial that even if his client gave birth, it wouldn't impact the proceedings. The judge agreed, but said he would allow for breaks every 45 minutes for Jennings.

It was also announced in court Tuesday that Jennings has actually not seen her daughter since giving birth.


Jennings is facing a charge of unlawful conduct toward a child in the disappearance of her son, Amir Jennings. The child was last seen in late November.

Columbia police say Zinah Jennings has not given them information on where the child may be.

She faces up to 10 years in prison if she's found guilty.

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:37 pm

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Normal Judge lets case against missing boy's mom proceed

Post by raine1953 on Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:54 pm

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Just four days after giving birth, a South Carolina mother was back in court Tuesday in the case of her missing son.
Prosecutors continued presenting their case against Zinah Jennings, the 23-year-old Columbia mother charged with unlawful neglect toward a child. Jennings' trial began last week, and defense attorneys are expected to soon begin their side.
Amir Jennings was 18 months old when he was last seen around Thanksgiving. His mother has refused to tell police where he is but said she left him somewhere safe.
Jennings gave birth to a girl early Friday morning. Circuit Judge Knox McMahon on Tuesday rejected a request for a mistrial filed by Jennings' attorney but said that he would take more frequent breaks to give her time to rest and recuperate from childbirth.
On Tuesday, one of the officers who interrogated Jennings after her December arrest testified about executing search warrants on Jennings' car, cellphone and mother's home. In court, Assistant Solicitor Luck Campbell held up a shovel that police found at the house, as well as the boy's Social Security card and birth certificate, both of which were found inside the room he shared with his mother.
Investigator Colin Bailey also told jurors that Jennings' mother told police her daughter — and grandson — had allegedly been with a half-sister in Georgia throughout fall 2011 before returning to Columbia. At one point, Jennings told Columbia police that her son was still in Atlanta, but officers there found find no trace of the boy.
"She did not tell us where he was, what state he was in, what family member or friend she had left the child with," Bailey said, of the interrogation. "She did not give us any concrete information."
Police also traced Jennings' government-issued food stamps card and collected surveillance video from businesses she frequented but never saw the boy on video after a stop at a bank in late November.
Bailey also said he got a warrant for Jennings' arrest after her stories about the boy's whereabouts fell flat, including false claims that Amir was with a man named Ernest Robinson — whom police ultimately determined didn't exist.
Jennings has been jailed since December and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Last week, prosecutors put up several dozen witnesses, many of whom testified that Jennings felt overwhelmed by the responsibilities of parenting. One high school friend said that the young mother told her she often pondered selling or giving away her son to alleviate the stress, or even throwing him out a window.
"She actually said, 'Sometimes, I think about giving him away,'" said Christian Dickerson, who called frequently to check up on Jennings. "She told me that she thought about selling him. ... She said it's nothing like she expected, that sometimes she thinks about throwing him out of the car on the highway."
The boy's father also testified that he wanted to play more of a role in his son's life but that Jennings wouldn't let him. Several relatives and friends also said they would have helped Jennings care for the boy if she had asked.
According to authorities, Jennings has repeatedly said that she left the boy somewhere safe.


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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:48 pm

If Jennings is not found guilty, there is no justice in this world!

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Normal Detective: All angles explored in missing Columbia toddler case/Lead investigator details scope, intensity of search for missing toddler

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:24 am

By JOHN MONK - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Cellphone pings. Surveillance videos. Confidential databases. A diver groping in a pond. Tips from across the country. A hunt for a man who apparently never existed. An intensive search of a Richland County woods by some 100 officers. Search warrants. Welfare agency and school records.

In almost three hours on the witness stand Tuesday, Columbia police investigator Colin Bailey told a jury in the case of missing Columbia toddler Amir Jennings that a massive police search last winter left no avenues unexplored to find the boy alive.

Bailey was the 38th witness that assistant 5th Circuit Solicitor Luck Campbell put on the stand as the trial entered its second week. Bailey’s role: to tie together all the various strands of evidence presented earlier so the jury can have no doubt the missing Amir was, at the least, abandoned by his mother in a way that put him at risk.

Amir, who was 18 months old when he went missing late last November, has never been found. His mother, charged with unlawful conduct toward a child, is on trial because she has not told investigators where he can be found.

The testimony of Bailey, the lead detective on the case, illustrated the massive resources – human and technological – modern law enforcement has at its command when it is searching for someone.

Bailey was also the first prosecution witness to tell the jury clearly and repeatedly that all evidence pointed to the conclusion that Zinah Jennings, 23, didn’t tell the truth to investigators, relatives and friends about the whereabouts of her son.

“Zinah did lie about her child,” Bailey testified.

Bailey, a 10-year police veteran, didn’t smile once during testimony. Over six feet, lanky, speaking with a New England accent, Bailey – who turned and directed his answers to the jury – projected a television cop’s assured command of the case’s numerous and varied details.

When Jennings’ attorney, Hemphill Pride II, asked Bailey – since Amir’s body hasn’t been found – wouldn’t it be possible for Amir to be alive and well somewhere being cared for by someone who just doesn’t care to tell police?
To believe that, replied Bailey, “you would have to also acknowledge that person does not care about Zinah Jennings, does not care about the Jennings family, which has been suffering for months now wondering about the location of Amir, ... that this person is putting this family under an intense amount of pressure and misery.”

Bailey went on: “You would have to take into account that this person doesn’t care about the time and expense and emotion this case has cost.”

Pride retorted: “So the answer to my question is, yes, someone with means could have Amir, is that not correct?”

“Someone with means, right now, could have Amir,” Bailey replied, who later spelled out what he meant by saying, “It is possible (Amir is alive) as in, ‘not impossible’.”

Over several hours, Bailey told the jury how every aspect of the police investigation indicated Amir had been abandoned and probably met with harm.

For example, cellphone pings of Zinah Jennings’ phone allowed investigators to discover that she made an unusual trip to a wooded area of northern Richland County last Nov. 29, hours after she had emptied her savings account at South Carolina Federal Credit Union.

That day, Nov. 29, was also remarkable because it was the last time Amir was seen by anyone, Bailey testified. Credit union surveillance cameras captured Amir playing and running out the bank’s front doors while his mother was busy getting her money. On the next day, Nov. 30, Zinah Jennings was in Augusta, meeting with a man. Amir wasn’t with her, Bailey testified. Until, then, Zinah Jennings was Amir’s primary caregiver.

After learning about the pings through a subpoena last winter following Zinah Jennings’ arrest on the unlawful conduct charges, police combed the northern Richland County woods but found no trace of Amir.

A half-dozen other surveillance videos – played to the jury Tuesday – of Zinah Jennings at stores in the Columbia area during December showed her without Amir. Police located the videos by accessing the bank records of a South Carolina Department of Social Services-issued welfare debit card Jennings used; the records gave the time and location of the store where Jennings used the card, Bailey said.
In early December, after Zinah Jennings’ mother had reported her and Amir missing, police entered that information into the National Crime Information Computer. When Zinah Jennings then was in a single-car crash Dec. 24, the patrol officer investigating the case entered her driver’s license information in NCIC and found she and Amir were missing.

That “hit” caused detective Bailey, already investigating the case, to interview the mother. Zinah Jennings then told Bailey that Amir was with a man called “Ernest Robinson,” whom she said she’d gone to Columbia’s Dreher High School with in 2005.

But multiple database searches – including one operated by the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles – failed to locate any Robinson. Dreher records contained no Robinson, Bailey testified.

“Prove to me your child is alive,” Sgt. Arthur Thomas said to Jennings in a tape-recorded interview prior to her arrest, according to a transcript Bailey read.

“I can’t,” a weeping Jennings replied, according to Bailey.

Earlier Tuesday, Circuit Judge Knox McMahon denied a motion by Pride for a mistrial. Zinah Jennings, nine months pregnant when she delivered a baby girl early Friday morning at a local hospital, is not healthy enough to continue, Pride said. She has been in jail since Dec. 30.

But McMahon said he had observed Jennings, talked to her doctor and concluded he could continue the trial, albeit with frequent breaks.

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:42 am

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Normal Grandmother worried about Amir but didn’t think daughter would hurt him

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:37 pm

By JOHN MONK - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Amir Jennings’ grandmother said in court Wednesday she worried about her grandson’s whereabouts but didn’t think her daughter would hurt him.

Jocelyn Jennings, at times crying and wiping tears from her face, testified in a Richland County courtroom that her daughter had once been a child with a bright future. Good academically and athletically, she was a Girl Scout and well-rounded student at Columbia’s Dreher High School, where she was on the color guard squad and girl’s basketball team.

But, the mother testified, her daughter dropped out of Winthrop University and had a baby. Relations between the two became strained in the months before the 18-month-old disappeared in November, Jocelyn Jennings testified.

Zinah Jennings mother, Jocelyn Jennings, took the witness stand Wednesday afternoon for the defense of her daughter. She gave testimony about her and Zinah's relationship and the events leading up to Zinah's arrest. At times it was emotional.

Still, she replied, “No, sir,” when asked by her daughter’s attorney, Hemphill Pride II, if Zinah Jennings would have killed Amir.

Zinah Jennings, 23, is accused of unlawful conduct toward a child, a felony that carries a possible 10-year prison sentence. Jennings has been in jail since Dec. 30 for not telling investigators where Amir is or what might have happened to him.

Besides Jocelyn Jennings, other defense witnesses told the jury that Zinah Jennings had treated Amir well, had gone to church regularly with her son and been a good babysitter for other children.

Earlier Wednesday, prosecutors put up the last of their 40 witnesses – FBI agent Craig Januchowski. He introduced tape recordings of telephone calls between Jocelyn and Zinah Jennings made in February, when Zinah was an inmate at the county jail.

Jail inmates are warned all calls are recorded. In the calls played in court, Zinah Jennings is heard talking to her mother about life after jail.

“The first thing I’m going to do when I get out, and that’s to go back to school and get my school stuff how I want it. I need to go back to school,” says Zinah Jennings.

“School is important,” Jocelyn Jennings says. “But ... I can’t stop thinking about my grandson ... who I have come to know and to love. And he is your seed. ... I don’t understand.”

Zinah Jennings replies: “So if I get out, where are they going to put me?” (Just like Casey, she completely ignores her mother discussing the baby. It's all "me, me me".Unreal!")

In another February call, Jocelyn Jennings begs her daughter to tell police Amir is safe.

“I already told them that,” Zinah Jennings says.

“For you to say that is one thing, (but) that don’t mean nothing. They think Amir is dead. ... I don’t want to believe you would take your son’s life. ... But until you let his whereabouts be known, they’re not going to let you out. ... They’re building a case against you, a murder case. ...You’re battling against the Columbia Police Department, the FBI, SLED – SLED, this ain’t no joke.”

People are putting yellow ribbons on telephone poles in hopes of Amir’s safe return, Jocelyn Jennings tells her daughter.

And, Zinah Jennings says: “Yeah, now everybody knows I had a baby.” (Again, Typical..all about HER!)

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:04 am

Grandma never feared missing SC boy would be hurt
By MEG KINNARD - Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The grandmother of a missing South Carolina toddler expressed worry and confusion about the boy's whereabouts during jailhouse phone calls with her daughter, saying she believed police thought the boy was dead but had faith in her daughter's innocence, according to recordings played in court Wednesday.

But the woman later testified that she never felt her daughter would hurt the boy.

"They're looking in woods," Jocelyn Jennings Nelson told her daughter, according to the calls played by prosecutors. "They're looking for him to be dead. ... I don't want to believe that you would take your son's life."

Nelson's daughter, Zinah Jennings, is on trial this week on a charge of unlawful conduct toward a child. Jennings' son, Amir, was 18 months old when he was last seen around Thanksgiving, and his mother has refused to tell police where he is.

During a lengthy interview with police, Jennings told investigators that she left the boy somewhere safe but would not elaborate. In the phone calls, Nelson pleads with her daughter to come clean with police and then she can be released from jail.

"Where is Amir?" Nelson asked. "You don't' have to be in there if you would just say where your son is."

"I've told you where he is," Jennings said.

"So are you saying you can't do that?" Nelson said.

"They have to do their job," Jennings said of police.

The women also discuss Jennings' new baby, a girl who was born last week.

"You're asking me to take a new baby after you've taken the one I love away from me, one that's already here, one that I have already grown to love," Nelson said.

Nelson also told her daughter that she was welcome to move back into her home when she is released from jail but describes the worry and stress that accompanied the missing-persons reports she filed about her daughter and grandson.

"My concern right now is Amir and you," Nelson says. "I can't stop thinking about my grandson. ... I don't understand what's going on."

Prosecutors called 40 witnesses and rested their case Wednesday. Defense attorneys called several witnesses who said they last saw the mother and son together at times from spring to summer 2011 and that the boy was always clean, well-dressed and happy.

Jennings' mother also testified Wednesday for her daughter, describing her daughter as a good high school student involved in extracurricular activities like choir and basketball. But Nelson said her relationship with her daughter became strained after the girl returned from her freshman year of college and was living with Nelson and her strict household rules.

Nelson described being angry when her daughter said she was pregnant but said that feeling was mollified by a baby shower and, ultimately, the boy's birth. Nelson frequently babysat her grandson but said she ultimately convinced her daughter to move back into her home and enroll Amir in daycare nearby.

But as the months wore on, Nelson said her relationship with her daughter again became difficult. The night of Nov. 27, 2011, Nelson said she snuggled her grandson into bed with her, watched a movie and turned off the light.

"I got up the next morning, I got dressed and went to work, and that was the last time that I saw him," Nelson said, crying softly.

Late at night, just over a week later, Nelson said her daughter came home without her son. Receiving no response when asking about Amir, Nelson said she decided to involve the authorities the next day.

"Once I got to work, I called 911," Nelson said. "I reported Amir missing because Zinah wouldn't tell me where he was. ... I felt that Zinah was trying to hurt me, and I wanted to know where the baby was." (Shades of TMLS)

Nelson also said she never feared her daughter would hurt the boy but disagreed over parenting styles.

"She didn't really want my help at all," Nelson said. "She tried to do things on her own."

On Tuesday, a police officer read from a transcript of Jennings' two-hour interrogation by police.

"Prove to me your child is alive," police Sgt. Arthur Thomas says.

"I can't," Jennings replied, according to the transcript.
Prosecutors called several witnesses who testified that they thought Jennings was overwhelmed by the stress of parenting. Last week, a friend testified that she had seen Jennings kick her son. Another witness said she saw Jennings squeeze the boy's hand when he wouldn't say "mama."

One high school friend said that the young mother told her she often pondered selling or giving away her son to alleviate the stress, or even throwing him out a window. The boy's father also testified that he wanted to play more of a role in his son's life but Jennings wouldn't let him.

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Post by Wrapitup on Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:20 am


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Normal Jury deliberations set to begin in Zinah Jennings trial

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:31 am

Posted: Sep 06, 2012 5:11 PM CDT
Updated: Sep 06, 2012 5:25 PM CDT
By Jeremy Turnage

The jury in the unlawful conduct towards a child case against Zinah Jennings is expected to begin deliberations on Friday morning after the day was spent with closing arguments.

Zinah, the mother of toddler Amir Jennings, who has been missing since November 2011, was almost put on the stand on Thursday, but she told the judge that she did not want to testify.

The defense spent most of Thursday trying to put reasonable doubt in the jury's minds.

One witness called by the defense, an owner of a consignment store in Lexington, testified that she saw the toddler with his mother a month after Amir allegedly went missing.

The prosecution tried to discredit that witness, however, through the recalled testimony from an investigator.

In closing arguments, Hemphill Pride, Zinah's attorney, told the jury that there was no proof of Zinah's willful abandonment of the toddler.

Meanwhile, the prosecution painted Zinah as a woman who was trying to get rid of her child because she told friends that Amir was a burden to her.

Jennings faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. The jury is expected to be back in the courtroom at 9:30 a.m.

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Normal Zinah Jennings Found Guilty, Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:19 pm

12:22 PM, Sep 7, 2012
Written by
Tony Santaella

Columbia, SC (WLTX, AP) - A judge has sentenced Zinah Jennings to 10 years in prison in connection with the disappearance of her son, Amir Jennings.

His decision came about 30 minutes after a jury returned a guilty verdict against the woman on a charge of unlawful conduct toward a child.

The jury needed less than three hours of deliberation to reach their conclusion.

Police say Amir was last seen during a visit to a bank with his mother back in November of last year.

During the trial, prosecutors brought over three dozen witnesses to testify. The defense called just two, including Zinah Jennings's mother.

Some of the prosecution witnesses testified the mother said she was stressed and needed a break from the boy. Her mother said she didn't believe her daughter would have ever harmed him.

Zinah Jennings never took the stand in her own defense.

During deliberations, the judge received two notes from the jury: one requested a copy of the statute, the other asked for 12 copies of Jennings's statements to police.

Before sentencing, the judge heard from Zinah Jennings's mother, Jocelyn Jennings Nelson. She begged the judge to show mercy on her child, acknowledging that her daughter is troubled.

"I noticed it [motherhood] was difficult (for her)," Jennings Nelson said. "I noticed she was depressed and needed help. I went agency to agency to get help."

Zinah Jennings herself did not speak.


The judge, however, wasn't swayed, saying that a mother should want to protect her child, and that he "doesn't take into account what family members have to say when sentencing."

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:27 pm

SC mother convicted in case of her missing son

By MEG KINNARD, Associated Press – 3 hours ago

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Nearly 10 months after her 18-month-old son was last seen, a South Carolina woman was convicted Friday of unlawful conduct for refusing to tell authorities where he might be, just insisting that he is safe.

Zinah Jennings, 23, showed no emotion as the verdict was read. The jury of eight women and four men deliberated for about 2 1/2 hours before issuing its decision, and a judge sentenced Jennings to the maximum of 10 years in prison. Jennings has been jailed on no bail since her arrest.

The last time Jennings' son, Amir, was seen was November, when a security video at a Columbia bank recorded them both.

Police say Jennings repeatedly lied to them about where the boy is, telling false tales that led them to search places from Atlanta to Charlotte, N.C.

Jennings, who did not testify in her defense, has said she left the boy somewhere safe but wouldn't give details when questioned by police. Prosecutors played a lengthy police interview in which Jennings cried as she said her son was safe but that she couldn't prove to detectives that the boy was alive.

Investigators have found Amir's blood on baby blankets retrieved from Jennings' car but no other trace of him.
Some of the dozens of prosecution witnesses testified during the two-week trial that Jennings — who gave birth to a second child last week — said she was overwhelmed by the stresses of parenting an active, energetic boy and needed a break. One friend said Jennings told her she pondered selling or giving away Amir and even mentioned throwing the boy out the window of a moving car.

Other prosecution witnesses testified that they saw Jennings kick Amir when he misbehaved or squeeze his hand when he wouldn't say "mama." Employees at the bank where the video came from testified that Amir was often not in a car seat when his mother pulled up at a drive-thru window.

Jennings' mother, though, said that, while she and her strong-willed daughter butted heads when it came to parenting styles, she doesn't believe her daughter would have ever harmed Amir. Before sentencing, Jocelyn Jennings Nelson also said she thought her daughter had suffered from post-partum depression and that she tried to find counseling for her after Amir's birth.

"She didn't understand what her body was going through and the impact motherhood was having on her," Nelson told the judge. "At this point, Amir could be anywhere. ... I will never stop looking for him."

It was unclear exactly who would care for Jennings' baby girl, though her mother has said she'd be willing to do that. Judge Knox McMahon said that Jennings would get the needed medical care.

In pronouncing sentence, McMahon made it clear that his thoughts were with the boy.

"I also do not know where Amir Jennings is. ... I know where his blanket is. I know where his blood is," McMahon said. "There's one innocent person, one blameless person, one person that cannot fend for himself in the world we live in, and that's Amir Jennings."
McMahon also recommended that Jennings receive counseling and ruled that she be credited with the nine months she has already served in jail.


Prosecutors and Jennings' other family members opted not to speak with reporters. Her defense attorney said he would consult with Jennings and her family before considering filing an appeal.

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:53 pm

Had they found a body, they would have gone for it. I wonder if they ever find his body, can they up the charge?

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Normal Video of the Verdict

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:44 pm

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Normal Re: Mother, 22 yr old Zinah Jennings,Won't Tell Where her son,18-mo old Amir Jennings is missing/Police Find Shovel, Bloody Clothes/Blanket in Mother's Home & Car, Per Warrant. She has given birth as of 8/31/12! Update 9/7/12: FOUND GUILTY/W SERVE 10 YRS!!

Post by raine1953 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:21 am

Maybe her Mother can find out more info when the egg donor is in prison, I sure hope so. Too bad they couldn't have hit her w/ murder charges or a longer prison sentence, she'll get out and reproduce again.
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Normal Zinah Jennings to Appeal Conviction in Case of Her Missing Son

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:51 pm


Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The mother of a missing Columbia toddler plans to appeal her conviction on charges related to the boy's disappearance.

Attorney Hemphill Pride said he will appeal 23 year old Zinah Jennings's September 7th conviction on a charge of unlawful conduct toward a child.

A jury deliberated less than three hours before returning a guilty verdict against her.

Her trial centered around her actions with her son, Amir Jennings. The boy was last seen in November of last year.

During the trial, prosecutors brought over three dozen witnesses to testify. The defense called just two, including Zinah Jennings's mother.

The prosecution presented as evidence a bloody blanket and statements from witnesses who said that Zinah Jennings was stressed and told them she needed a break from the boy.

The judge sentenced Jennings to 10 years in prison, but gave her credit for time served.

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Post by Wrapitup on Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:34 pm

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