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Judge rejects heat of passion claims by Virginia Beach sailor charged with killing his wife’s lover

A gavel cracks down. (Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid/U.S. Air Force)

A Navy sailor charged with killing his wife’s lover after catching them having sex will stand trial on murder charges after a judge rejected his claims of killing the man in the heat of passion.

Virginia Beach District Judge Sandra Menago certified charges of second-degree murder, illegal use of a gun and maliciously firing into an occupied building against Tyler Jenkins at the end of a preliminary hearing Thursday.

Defense attorney Brandon Fellers argued the shooting was in the heat of passion, and Jenkins should not be charged with anything more than voluntary manslaughter.

The incident occurred March 11 at the couple’s apartment near Interstate 264 and Alicia Drive.

Jenkins’ 25-year-old estranged wife was the only person called to testify during Thursday’s hearing and spoke without emotion. The Virginian-Pilot is not naming her because she’s the alleged victim of a domestic violence incident.

The wife, also in the Navy and assigned to the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush, testified she and Jenkins, 26, were married in April 2021.

The marriage was over within three months, the wife said, but they continued to live together in a 2-bedroom apartment and slept in different rooms. She also said they had talked to a lawyer, agreed to see other people and that her husband knew she was engaging in other relationships. He’d even filed an adultery complaint with her command, she said.

On the day of the shooting, the wife had just returned after being away for 24 days on Navy duty. When she arrived, Jenkins was there to pick her up, with a bouquet of flowers, she said.

The wife said she wasn’t interested in resuming their relationship and went out that evening with friends, heading first to Hooters and then Minx Gentleman’s Club. Afterward, she and one of the men in the group, Timothy Talley III, also assigned to the George H.W. Bush, came back to her apartment, she said.

The wife said she and Talley, 28, were having sex in her bedroom when Jenkins burst in with a gun and began firing. She said Talley had his hands up and was asking Jenkins to “chill” when he was fatally shot. Talley died at the scene.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kari Kolar argued Jenkins had already been “put on notice” months before that his wife was seeing other men, and it should have come as no surprise that she would be intimate with one.

The fact Jenkins came into the room with a gun in his hand indicated he was prepared to catch her in the act, Kolar said.

The judge agreed and the case will now be sent to a grand jury for consideration.


© 2022 The Virginian-Pilot

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