Update: Sentencing Day for Monique Lee

By: Jodi Baker Email
By: Jodi Baker Email

Tuesday morning, the woman accused of strangling the life out of her landlord, Karen Jenkins, was sentenced to life in prison.

In addition to life in prison for first-degree murder, Judge Gleason sentenced Monique Lee to ten years for use of a weapon to commit a felony.

"Knowing that, that gives me comfort," said Jenkins' best friend, Lindsey DeBerry, "to know that she will never be able to get out and hurt anyone else."

Jenkins was a prominent educator who specialized in conflict resolution. She was also a businesswoman, who owned a bar and rental property. Jenkins had rented an apartment to Lee. She tried to help Lee on numerous occasions when she came up short on rent. But finally, Jenkins evicted her.

That's what sparked an ugly attack in October of 2010 in which Lee had her brother, Gary Lee, lure Jenkins to a phony apartment showing. Once there, Monique Lee attacked and strangled her former landlord with an electrical cord. Her body was found six days later inside an abandoned house, across from her apartment building.

Gary Lee was convicted of second degree murder and perjury, after lying on the stand and causing a mistrial in his sister's first case. "Nobody knows why he did that," said DeBerry. "In my mind he did that to get another mistrial, hoping that they would not file again. But that was certainly not the case."

For perjury and second-degree murder, he was sentenced in September to between 65 and 100 years in prison. The 21-year-old will be eligible for parole at the age of 53. Tuesday is his sister's turn.

The end, this final stage in the murder case, is something Jenkins' friends and family have been waiting for. Still, Monique Lee's sentencing, the victim's sister, Cynthia Jenkins said, "won't bring Karen back."

DeBerry added, "You think about all the things she should have done and would have done, and the people she would have influenced. And so, to some degree, you'll never get true closure."

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