Pike Co. prosecutor: Deputy accused of accidentally killing his neighbor was fired for insubordination

PIKE COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) –Instead of his deputy uniform, Joel Jenkins walked into a Pike County courtroom on Monday handcuffed hand and foot, wearing street clothes.

Jenkins has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in a neighbor’s fatal shooting at his own home.

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader says the former deputy was off-duty at the time of Thursday’s shooting. Jenkins apparently was showing off a gun and it fired, shooting a 40-year-old man in the head.

He was given a $100,000 bond to get out of jail with 10% needed to bond out.

For now he is being held in the Franklin County Jail because of concerns over the deputy’s safety.

Before he was led out of  the courtroom both families torn apart by that shooting death addressed him.

Jason Brady’s father spoke to Jenkins as he left the courtroom, “Look at me!” Then a relative of Deputy Jenkins said, “We love you Joel.”

Jenkins didn’t make a plea to involuntary manslaughter charge, but in a call to the sheriff’s office that night he alluded to what happened.

“There has been an accidental discharge,” he said in the call. “My neighbor is down.”

40-year-old Jason Brady died from a bullet wound to the head.

A close friend said Brady was a single parent raising a teenage son, and a friend to everyone he met.

“When I saw the comments on Facebook is when it really hit me as well. We have done a lot things together over the last 20-some years, then when I saw all the others touched by him it was heartbreaking,” said Selby Hitchens.

Hitchens and Brady have been friends their whole adult lives. He says the fact a trained officer was allegedly intoxicated and fired a loaded gun makes the death even more baffling.

“It doesn’t make sense a lot of people are scratching their heads,” said Hitchens.

Because Jenkins worked with most of the Pike County officials a special prosecutor from the Attorney General’s Office is handling the case. Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk spoke with Brady’s father.

“Probably about as well as could be under the circumstances, he just lost his son to this incident and he and the rest of the family are going through a lot,” Junk said.

Deputy Jenkins is due back in court next week. Junk told NBC4 that he was fired for insubordination after refusing to answer a major’s questions about the shooting.

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