Crime

Triplet accused of fatally stabbing brother tells Columbus police it was an accident, detective says

‘We need the officers’: Columbus police chief explains new recruitment strategies

The Columbus Police Department in Columbus, GA, is looking to hire up to 100 police officers and 911 operators, or dispatchers. They hosted a hiring event at Goodwill Aug. 22, 2019, in hopes of filling the jobs.
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The Columbus Police Department in Columbus, GA, is looking to hire up to 100 police officers and 911 operators, or dispatchers. They hosted a hiring event at Goodwill Aug. 22, 2019, in hopes of filling the jobs.

A Columbus man charged with fatally stabbing one of his triplet brothers in their home Tuesday made his first court appearance Thursday morning in Recorder’s Court after allegedly telling police the stabbing was accidental.

Kenneth Jernigan, 36, was arrested after Columbus police officers found his brother, Kevin Jernigan, dead at 2710 King Street around 2 a.m. August 27 following reports of a stabbing, police said.

He was charged with murder (family violence) and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime and was booked into the Muscogee County Jail.

Cpl. Matt Sitler with the Columbus Police Department said it appears Kevin Jernigan suffered one stab wound to the chest, but that autopsy results are still pending. The knife used in the crime was recovered on scene.

Kenneth told officers he stabbed his brother with a kitchen knife accidentally while the two were in the kitchen making food and that Kenneth attempted to hug Kevin, leading to the knife penetrating his body, Sitler said.

Sitler said the evidence gathered by police does not support Kenneth’s account of events. He would not comment on potential motives in Recorder’s Court.

The third triplet, Keith Jernigan, testified during the hearing and said he did not witness the stabbing. He told his brother Kenneth that he loved him and would be praying for him.

The case was bound over to Superior Court.

The Columbus Police Department is asking anybody that has any information about the homicide to contact Sitler at 706-225-4367 or msitler@columbusga.org.

Allie Dean is the Columbus city government and accountability reporter for the Ledger, and also writes about new restaurants, developments and issues important to readers in the Chattahoochee Valley. She’s a graduate of the University of Georgia.
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