Layers for the defense and the prosecution told Circuit Judge Terence Perkins this morning that they may not be ready for the trial of Derrius Bauer, one of two suspects in the October 2019 killing of Deon O’Neal Jenkins, known as the Circle K murder, until next January.
Two months ago, In January, lawyers argued for a similar schedule regarding Marcus Chamblin, the other suspect. Both Chamblin and Bauer face a capital murder charge, exposing them to the death penalty if convicted, plus charges of attempted second-degree murder, a first degree felony, and firing into an occupied vehicle, a second degree felony. They would be tried separately.
The delay is due to the complexity of the twin cases and the unusually large number of witnesses and people being deposed. The prosecution’s initial witness list numbered 121 names. It has grown since.
Members of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office by the dozens have been deposed. Some 30 more people have yet to be deposed, according to the lawyers in the case. The list also includes members of the Clay, Jacksonville and St. Johns Sheriff’s offices, the Walterboro, S.C., Police Department, the FBI, the ATF, the Florida Highway Patrol, and numerous lay witnesses.
Assistant State Attorney Mark Johnson is prosecuting both cases. Anne Gennusa represents Bauer, 28. Terence Lenamon represents Chamblin, 28. Both have been at the Flagler County jail since their arrest in January 2021, on no bond.
“I think Mr. Johnson would agree that this case is probably one of the biggest ones that Flagler County has seen. It spreads not just in Flagler County. There are other states involved,” Gennusa told the court this morning. She addressed the court by zoom. Bauer was in court, standing at the lectern in front of the judge. “I do understand the courts wanting to get the case resolved, but I think Mr. Johnson is correct when he says either late this year or early next year would be a good indicator of when the case would be tried.”
Perkins doesn’t like to delay trials any more than they absolutely have to be. His January docket isn’t open yet, though he could devote two weeks ton the trial at that point. He pushed for a September trial date. But discovery is still ongoing. “There’s probably about 20 to 30 more witnesses that need to be deposed. Then there will be some pre-trial motions. So I think September will give us a good indicator as to where we really are,” with three June dates set for more depositions.
The alleged murder, the investigation indicates, may have been motivated by a dispute between two roommates.
Chamblin is alleged to have fired 16 rounds in four seconds from an assault, AK-47-style rifle at a tan Chevrolet Malibu parked on the western end of the Circle K parking lot on Palm Coast Parkway, off of Belle Terre Parkway, minutes after 3:30 a.m. on October 12, 2019. One of the bullets struck Jenkins in the chest. Bullets also wounded a second victim., whose identity authorities have kept confidential from the start of the case.
About 30 minutes earlier, surveillance video showed Jenkins speaking with Bauer and shaking hands with him in front of the Circle K. Bauer is then seen talking on the phone, and leaving the parking lot in a silver Chevrolet. Phone records would later show him to have remained in the area before and after the shooting, with numerous calls between his and Chamblin’s phone. At 3:32, Jenkins is seen entering the Malibu on the passenger side.
Two minutes later, an “unknown subject,” according to arrest reports, shoeless and in a light-colored hooded sweatshirt, approaches the Malibu from the rear, fires the shots, then runs off toward the north. The driver of the Malibu drove the car to nearby Station 25 for assistance.
Chamblin and Bauer had rented a room at the Palm Coast Red Roof Inn that night. The investigation matched clothing found in bauer’s car to that worn by the men in various surveillance footage gathered after the shooting. (Detectives collected numerous surveillance evidence from businesses around the Circle K.)
The investigation revealed that Chamblin’s brother, D’Shawn Hosang–one of the witnesses on the state’s list–had previously kicked Jenkins out of his house. The two had an altercation. Hosang “was confirmed to be in the company of Jenkins, a short time before the murder,” according to Bauer’s arrest report. “Detectives also obtained a sworn statement from a witness,” the investigation found, “who indicated that, while at the Red Roof Inn Plus in Palm Coast, Marcus Chamblin received a call from his brother, D’Shawn Hosang, in which D’Shawn detailed the altercation between he and Deon Jenkins. Following this call, Chamblin was enraged and stated that he was going to kill J. Chamblin then requested that Bauer leave with him and they were gone for about an hour.”
Sometime in December 2019, the arrest report notes, Chamblin attempted to sell the AK-style rifle to someone in Virginia.
Perkins is scheduling the case for an August 9 pre-trial, but asked Gennusa to reserve hearing time for pre-trial motions. The August pre-trial will set the trial date. Perkins is still leaving the door open for a September trial.
“Let’s go ahead and get everything on the books, so we know when I see you in August, this is everything that we think we’re going to need reasonably,” Perkins said. “There may be emergencies coming up here or there or something unexpected is revealed and needs to get followed up. I’m not trying to prohibit that. Just want to provide for the orderly movement towards trial.”
The hearings so far have provided little insight into the two sides’ strategies, though it is likely that Bauers’ attorney will seek to distance his role from Chamblin’s, in attempts to diminish his exposure to the more severe penalties.
That next pre-trial hearing in the Bauer case is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on August 9. Chamblin’s next pre-trial is scheduled for June 7 at 2:30 p.m.