Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Jocelyn Jennings to Zinah: They Think Amir is Dead
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) --Wednesday, the prosecution released phone calls between Zinah Jennings and her mother Jocelyn Jennings, since Zinah has been in jail.
Jennings is currently on trial for the charge of Unlawful Conduct Toward a Child in connection with the disappearance of her son, Amir Jennings.
For the first time Wednesday, we heard recorded jail phone conversations.
In the recordings, Zinah asked Jocelyn is she was in contact with Investigator Colin Bailey of the Columbia Police Department. The phone calls took place in February, Jocelyn told Zinah she was no longer in contact with Investigator Bailey.
Jocelyn Jennings was also could be heard telling Zinah she was concerned about her grandson, Amir, and that she hadn't slept well since he disappeared.
Zinah repeatedly mentioned getting out of jail and coming home, to that Jocelyn replied that she may be able to come home if she would tell officials that Amir is safe and where he is.
Jocelyn went on to tell Zinah, "They are looking for his body, they are not looking for him to be alive."
However, Jocelyn told Zinah she couldn't imagine Zinah harming him.
Jocelyn also mentioned the coverage of the case on media outlets, including those on a national level.
Zinah then told her Mom because of the media coverage, "Now everybody know I had a baby."
The release of the recorded phone calls comes just one day after the prosecution called Investigator Colin Bailey to the stand.
Investigator Bailey, who works on the Special Victims Unit for the Columbia Police Department, has been working on the case since December 2011.
Investigator Bailey went through a timeline of events in the case that started with meeting Amir's Grandmother, Jocelyn Jennings.
Jocelyn reported Amir's mother, Zinah Jennings, and Amir missing in early December of 2011. Weeks later Zinah was found. Yet, to this day, Amir is still missing.
Investigator Bailey's testimony took several hours, during that time the prosecution showed several surveillance videos at area Columbia stores throughout the month of December.
Each video showed Zinah, but not one showed Amir.
Investigator Bailey aslo testified about his efforts to find a man named Ernest Robinson, a man he says Zinah once claimed to be Amir's father. Zinah allegedly told investigators Amir was with Ernest Robinson.
However, Investigator Bailey testified that to this day he hasn't been able to locate Ernest Robinson.
Investigator Bailey also testified about a search for the toddler in January 2012 in the northern part of Richland County.
According to Bailey's testimony, authorities were alerted to the area after Zinah's cell phone pinged off a tower there on the same day Amir was seen on surveillance video at a local bank, November 29, 2011.
It's the last known sighting of Amir Jennings.
Also on Tuesday, Judge Knox McMahon denied a motion for a mistrial by Zinah Jennings' attorney Hemphill Pride, II.
Pride gave several reasons for moving for a mistrial, including Zinah's health and questions he had concerning the jury.
Jennings, as you may know, gave birth to a daughter early Friday morning. Because of the childbirth, Pride stated he was concerned on whether or not Jennings would be able to sit through the remainder of the trial.
Pride also mentioned that Zinah had not yet been able to see the child and that her mother Jocelyn Jennings had not been able to see Zinah while she was hospitalized.
The defense is expected to start calling witnesses in the case this week.
If convicted, Zinah Jennings faces up to 10 years in prison.
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