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Ohio Man Gets 20 Years For Manslaughter, Attempted Decapitation Of Wife

Former corrections officer Wilford Jenkins III pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and other charges in the death of his wife, Huletta Jenkins, who he stabbed before trying to decapitate her.

By Dorian Geiger
A police handout of Wilford Jenkins III

A former Ohio corrections officer was sentenced to 20 years behind bars for the fatal stabbing of his wife, who he then tried to decapitate. 

Wilford Jenkins III, 49, was initially charged with murder in the death of his wife, Huletta Jenkins at the couple’s residence last year. As the result of plea agreement, he pleaded guilty on Thursday to involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault and tampering with evidence, according to ABC affiliate WCPO-TV.

Police found Wilford Jenkins and his wife Huletta Jenkins at their Forest Park, Ohio home both covered in blood and suffering from multiple stab wounds on Oct. 25, 2021.

Investigators said Wilford Jenkins stabbed his spouse several times in the chest, abdomen, neck and arms. She was pronounced dead at the scene, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. A post-mortem examination revealed that she died after her throat was slit. According to a coroner, bone fragments were missing from the slain woman’s spinal cord, suggesting Wilford Jenkins had attempted to remove his wife’s head.

Jenkins later tried to slit his own throat with the blade used to murder his wife, but the wounds were superficial. The Ohio man also allegedly powered down the home’s Ring doorbell camera shortly before the deadly incident. At the time of the attack, the couple had lived in the home with their two adult sons, WXIX-TV reported, and one was home — but outside — at the time of the murder, the Enquirer reported.

Wilford Jenkins was initially indicted on murder and felonious assault charges, the paper reported

“It is hard to imagine the last moments of this woman’s life,” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters said following Wilford Jenkins’ sentencing, WXIX-TV reported. “I hope this result can help bring closure to her family and loved ones.”

The case’s judge also described the Ohio man’s actions as “senseless and selfish.”

“I am so sorry and I wish I could take it all back,” Wilford Jenkins said in court, the Cincinnati television reported. “I wish I could have her back in everybody’s lives.”

The family of Huletta Jenkins, however, flatly dismissed her former spouse’s courtroom apology.

“The only remorse you have is that you got caught,” Roxanna Smith, Huletta Jenkins' mother, also said during her victim impact statement. “Why didn’t you just leave and let her live?”

He was reportedly suffering from mental health problems, and had been arrested in February 2021 during what his wife had termed a psychiatric emergency, the Enquirer reported at the time. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in the case and received probation and an order to receive treatment.

Jenkins had worked as a corrections officer at Lebanon Correctional Facility and as a deputy at Butler County Jail. He’s not eligible for early release, according to WCPO-TV.