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Family of 4-year-old Shooting Victim Asks for Community’s Help in Keeping Killer Behind Bars

By Alyssa Schnugg
News Editor

The family of slain 4-year-old is asking the community for help to keep their loved one’s murderer in prison.

On July 24, 1985, Debi Freeman was driving home on College Hill Road with her two sons, Robert, 14, and James Neal, 4, and another boy when bullets came from out of nowhere into her car, hitting James Neal and killing him instantly.

Anthony James Jenkins, 19, was charged with James Neal’s death and sentenced to life in prison. Court records showed Jenkins thought he was “Rambo” and had been under the influence of drugs and alcohol when he decided to randomly fire a rifle into vehicles that day.

Anthony James Jenkins

He has remained in prison for the last 33 years; however, Freeman said she and her husband Bobby were notified that Jenkins is up for parole and is scheduled for a patrol hearing Monday. The Freemans will be addressing the board via phone conference on Monday.

Freeman was pregnant at the time James Neal was killed. Her son, Whit Freeman was born 10 weeks later. On Monday, he also asked friends to help by sending letters and making phone calls to the parole board.

“The man who killed him (James Neal) was given life in prison but has the opportunity for parole and unfortunately my parents and family have to relive this tragedy over again every time they get a letter in the mail from the parole board,” Whit Freeman posted on his Facebook Monday. “We are asking for anyone and everyone to please write a letter that can simply say “I am against the release of Anthony James Jenkins #41295 for parole.”

To help oppose Jenkins’ release, call parole board chairman Steven Pickett at 601-576-3520 or send a letter asking the board to deny the release of Jenkins, inmate No. 41295 to: Parole Board State of Mississippi, 660 North Street Suite 100, Jackson, MS 39202.

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