COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Investigators in Columbus County have a major break in two recent murders. Darnell Frink was killed in a shooting after a football game in late September. Delemez Jones was found dead three months later.
Santonio Jenrette is charged with the September murder of Darnell Frink, and in the death of 14-year-old Delamez Jones. Jones went missing in late November. His body was found two and a half weeks later. Jones is also cousins with Santonio Jenrette.
Police believe Jones was killed either because he witnessed, or knew about, the murder of Darnell Frink.
Marquel Hunter is also charged with the death of Delamez Jones. Hunter has already been charged in the murder of Darnell Frink.
Since Santonio Jenrette and Delamez Jones were cousins, today's news is no doubt difficult for the family of the two boys. According to the family, Jenrette and Hunter got Delamez drunk to the point that he became unconscious, or didn't know what was going on before they allegedly killed him.
His mother, Mabalene Moody, says the toxicology report shows Delamez's blood alcohol level at the time of his death at 0.13. Moody and other family members say right after Delamez disappeared they asked Jenrette where the 14-year-old was.
"I said, 'Santonio, have you seen Delamez?' And he couldn't even look at me, and he said, 'No, I haven't,'" Moody said.
Sabrina Vereen is the victim's stepsister.
"He couldn't look me in my face, he couldn't look me in my face and tell me," Vereen said.
While Jenrette is eligible for the death penalty because he is charged with two murders, and allegedly killed a witness to one of them, the family says they would rather him be sentenced to life in prison. Furthermore, the family says if Jenrette is convicted of the crime, they would like a picture of Delamez hung in Jenrette's jail cell so he can think about and remember what he did.