A convicted felon was in court Wednesday after he was arrested last week in connection with the triple homicide of a West Nashville family.
Meanwhile, police said they are still seeking two persons of interest in the case but have not released a description of either. Witnesses saw two other men at the house on the day the family was killed.
Police still don't know who they are or what they were doing there.
Lorenzo Kelvin Jenkins, 39, was charged Nov. 9 with three counts of criminal homicide in the deaths of Patrick Sullivan, 56, Debbie Sullivan, 48, and Wendy Sullivan, 26, at the home on Maxon Avenue on Oct. 22.
Police took the stand on Wednesday and described the way three family members were killed, where detectives found the murder weapon and how they arrested Jenkins.
Investigators say they have fingerprints and DNA evidence linking Jenkins to the crime.
Evidence at the scene of the Maxon Avenue homicides lead police to believe the motive for the murders was drug related. Police said the Sullivans were involved in selling pills and marijuana from the residence.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation tested a DNA sample that linked Jenkins to the scene, and he was arrested Tuesday in Sumner County on suspicion of a Nov. 5 burglary at a Hendersonville residence.
His charges in Hendersonville include aggravated burglary and theft, and his bond was set at $225,000.
In June, Jenkins received two six-year suspended sentenced for convictions of aggravated burglary and felony theft in separate incidents. He also has a previous robbery conviction after admitting in 2004 to grabbing a woman's purse on 10th Avenue North and Charlotte Avenue, because he needed money for drugs.
Jenkins would not have been free in October had he served time in jail for stealing $50,000 worth of parts from a former employer.
Jenkins received a six-year suspended sentence in June after a theft from Fire Sprinkler LLC, the company where he had worked for more than six years, according to his former boss, Pat Stella.
"If they had put him in jail for six years, he wouldn't have killed those people. It's terrible. It shouldn't have happened," Stella said.
Family, neighbors pull together
Wesley McGaw lost three members of his family in the house. Patrick Sullivan, 56, Debbie Sullivan, 48, and Wendy Sullivan, 26, were found by Debbie and Patrick's second daughter, Nikeeah.
She called her uncle in Kentucky in desperation as the reality began to sink in.
"She made it clear: 'get me. I need you now. You're the only family I have left,'" McGaw said.
McGaw said he is struggling to understand why this family - why his sister, who baked cookies for the neighborhood kids - why they all died in such a terrible crime.
"I don't understand. It had to take a really cold-hearted person to do a thing like this," McGaw said.
McGaw's sister and brother-in-law had taken in their two grown daughters and were helping raise their four grandchildren.
Wendy's two children are now orphans, and Nikeeah is homeless as her parents' house is now a crime scene.
McGaw said of course he'll take all four children and his surviving niece into his home if that's what she wants.
"She knows I'll do anything in the world, go in debt, to take care of those kids," McGaw said.
Now, his family is asking for prayers for the trying days they know are ahead.
"I don't even know what to do next. I'm scared to death, and I don't know what to do," he said.
The family is also craving answers as to who did this and when will they be caught.
Those are the same questions so many neighbors in the normally quiet area of west Nashville are asking, too.
Neighbors have established a fund for the victims' family, especially the two young children Wendy Sullivan leaves behind.
To contribute, ask for the Sullivan Memorial Fund at any branch of First Tennessee Bank in Middle Tennessee.
3 family members found dead
The deceased were identified as Patrick Sullivan, 56, his wife, Deborah Sullivan, 48, and their daughter, Wendy Sullivan, 26.
The Sullivans' 28-year-old daughter arrived home Monday at about 2:15 p.m., entered the residence, and found the bodies of her mother and sister. Both had suffered "significant" trauma, police said. The 28-year-old daughter then called 911.
First responders determined that the two women were dead at the scene. While clearing the home and property, officers discovered Patrick Sullivan's body in a detached building behind the house.
The deaths are believed to have occurred between 9:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. A neighbor last spoke to one of the victims between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
Detectives are continuing to pursue leads in the Sullivans' deaths, which they believe was not a random crime.
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Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-22 00:39:52 GMT
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