Police: Couple wrote letters about Jenkins killing
By LISA RATHKE
The Associated Press | August 17,2012
ST. JOHNSBURY — The Vermont couple charged with killing a St. Johnsbury teacher and dumping her naked body in the Connecticut River have written letters to each other in jail discussing the crime, a police affidavit filed in the case says.
Patricia Prue and Allen Prue wrote numerous letters to each other that were collected by police after a search of Allen Prue’s jail cell, police said. The pair is accused of strangling and beating 33-year-old Melissa Jenkins, after luring her out of her house with a ruse about a broken-down car in March. Jenkins’ SUV was found idling on her road with her 2-year-old son inside.
An affidavit filed July 26, requesting a search of Allen Prue’s cell, does not go into the particulars of the correspondence but describes the content in general.
“I learned that since Patricia Prue and Allen Prue have been in jail, they have written letters back and forth to each other at which time they discussed and made mention of the murder of Jenkins,” Vermont State Police Detective Sgt. Kelley Clark said in the affidavit accompanying the request to search Allen Prue’s cell at the Northwest State Correctional Facility.
Clark said the assistant superintendent at the Chittenden County Regional Correction Center, where Patricia Prue is jailed, told police that corrections officers read the incoming and outgoing mail of inmates and noticed letters between the Prues.
Similarly, in May, police said they found a ripped-up note that Patricia Prue wrote in jail with the phrases “we picked her because,” “while he beat her” and “passed out.”
Police say the Waterford couple planned the crime, buying a stun gun and prepaid cellphone, and driving by Jenkins’ home and the dam in Barnet where police say they later dumped her body.
Patricia Prue, 33, is charged with aggravated murder, accused of killing Jenkins during a sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. Allen Prue, 30, is charged with first-degree murder. Both have pleaded not guilty.
In other developments, Patricia Prue’s attorney has asked to have her trial moved out of Caledonia County, saying the extensive media coverage of the case makes it unlikely she will get a fair trial.
Caledonia County State’s Attorney Lisa Warren has not responded to the request but said the motion was premature since a date has not been set for the trial.