A convicted felon "with a vendetta" was arrested Thursday and charged with first-degree murder in the August 2015 killing of a Lake Alfred softball coach, the Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Friday.
Alfred Ranard Jenkins, 54, is accused in the shooting death of James "Terry" Yelvington, 60, found Aug. 11 in front of his home on the 700 block of South Todhunter Way.
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Jenkins, of Winter Haven, and Yelvington previously had worked at the same company, Packaging Corporation of America, according to Polk Sheriff's investigators. Yelvington, who still worked there, was the president of a workers union and had input in the hiring and firing of employees. During the course of the investigation, several coworkers mentioned Jenkins, who had been fired in 2009 related to his role as union treasurer.
After Jenkins' firing, Yelvington found out that Jenkins had stolen union funds and forged union checks, Judd said. Yelvington reported the crime, which resulted in Jenkins' 2011 arrest for grand theft.
"Records were discovered during that search warrant where Jenkins actually wrote that there was bad blood between him and Yelvington," Judd said.
Detectives continued to interview Jenkins' acquaintances, one of whom said that Jenkins told him that authorities were "coming after him" and that he had three firearms. The acquaintance said that Jenkins later told him that he went to Yelvington's home and had a physical altercation with him in his garage because Yelvington had gotten him fired and arrested, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Neighbors later found Yelvington dead near his driveway and told investigators they heard gunshots in the early morning hours of Aug. 11 and seeing a dark-colored, late 1990s to early 2000s GMC or Chevrolet SUV turning a corner. Judd said Friday that surveillance video from a nearby residence showed a dark SUV matching that description near the crime scene. Detectives said Jenkins drives a dark blue 200 Chevy Blazer.
"Alfred Jenkins drove to Terry Yelvington's house with a vendetta. This convicted felon, who has been in and out of jail in four different states, and to state prison for violent crimes, blamed this hard-working, honest family man for getting arrested and fired, and because of that, he brutally and senselessly murdered Terry Yelvington," Judd said.
In addition to first-degree murder, Jenkins is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, armed robbery and tampering with evidence.
Alfred Ranard Jenkins (Polk County Sheriff's Office