- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A lawyer for an Omaha woman has told jurors they shouldn’t believe family members who will testify against his client.

During opening statements in Erica Jenkins’ first murder trial, lawyer Sean Conway said Wednesday that a “trio of proven liars” will be helping prosecutors try to convict the 24-year-old.

Jenkins is charged with murder and other crimes in the Aug. 19, 2013, slaying of Curtis Bradford. Her second murder trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 26 in slaying of Andrea Kruger on Aug. 21, 2013. Jenkins’ brother, Nikko Jenkins, has pleaded guilty to killing Kruger, Bradford and two other men within weeks of leaving prison.

All three family members who will be called to the stand in the first trial “hope to benefit one way or another as a result (of) testifying in this case,” Conway said.

“This is not a case where there is a silver bullet piece of evidence that will tie Erica Jenkins to this murder,” he said.

Prosecutor Nissa Jones described the case as a “family affair.”

“Erica chose to commit this crime with her brother. Her sister was in the car when it happened, and afterward (Erica) chose to talk about it to two relatives,” Jones said.

Bradford was under the impression that he and Nikko Jenkins were going to commit a robbery when he went to the Jenkins’ home that summer night, Jones said. Erica Jenkins didn’t like Bradford, Jones said, because he belonged to a gang that she believed had shot up her home in the past.

The siblings drove with sister Lori “Lolo” Sayles and Bradford to a secluded Omaha area, where Erica Jenkins and Nikko Jenkins both shot Bradford in the head, with Erica pulling the trigger first, Jones said. Erica Jenkins complained to a cousin later that Nikko “stole her first kill, because he came in and shot Curtis,” the prosecutor said.

Erica Jenkins, who’s serving time for robbery, was not in the courtroom and has waived her right to attend both trials.

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