Tuesday, Feb. 27, 1996 | 11:59 a.m.
Fifteen-year-old Joshua Jenkins, charged in the killings of five family members, once plotted to kill his father using a crossbow pistol, police said.
It was the crossbow and a rifle that Metro Police were looking for when they entered George and Alene Jenkins' Desert Shores home Feb. 8, according to a search warrant filed in District Court.
Neither weapon was found.
Police say sometime on Feb. 2, the teen, while visiting his grandparents' Vista condominium 40 miles northeast of San Diego, killed his parents, George Jenkins, 50, and Alene Jenkins, 48, of Las Vegas, and his grandparents, Bill Grossman, 78, and Evelyn Grossman, 74. Authorities believe he killed his 10-year-old sister, Megan, a day later.
All five bodies were found Feb. 3 by Vista firefighters in a back bedroom stacked on top of one another with several stab wounds to their chests and backs. Police say Joshua set several fires in the home in an attempt to cover up the crimes.
A warrant filed Feb. 9. states that Joshua confessed to the killings to sheriff's deputies.
"Joshua Jenkins admitted killing his grandfather, grandmother, father, mother and sister," according to the warrant.
However, Joshua pleaded not guilty to the charges in San Diego County juvenile court on Feb. 14.
Sheriff's Detective Kenneth Gordon learned from Joshua after his arrest that he at one time had planned to kill his father with a crossbow. But Joshua told deputies his father had taken the crossbow and a rifle away from him.
The family had a history of domestic disturbances and had made a series of 911 calls to Metro Police dating to January 1995.
During the Feb. 8 search, Metro officers took an empty box for a Barnett crossbow pistol from a cabinet drawer in an upstairs bedroom. The warrant report doesn't say whose bedroom it was, but the master bedroom was downstairs with two other rooms upstairs.
San Diego sheriff's deputies had asked Metro Police to look for the weapons and handwritten documents that may have shown a desire on Joshua's part to kill his parents, who lived at 7841 Surfcrest Court in the Racquet Club gated community.
Joshua gave investigators "detailed accounts" of how he carried out the slayings and "how he attempted to cover up the murders." He told detectives "that he used a hammer and a knife that he found within the residence to kill his parents and grandparents. Joshua told police he drove to a HomeBase store "and purchased an ax which he used to kill his younger sister."
From the Vista condo, police confiscated an ax, two claw hammers and bloody clothing.
Also confiscated from the Las Vegas home was a buck-type knife from underneath the sofa cushions of an upstairs bedroom.
A diary was also taken, as well as a book, 20 miscellaneous documents, photographs, undeveloped film and a home video from the parents' master bedroom and living room. Metro Police turned over the evidence to San Diego authorities.
A "for sale by owner" sign was in the window of the Jenkins' home. The house was owned by George Jenkins' mother, Minna Jenkins, according to the search warrant.
On the day of the slayings, the family had picked up Joshua from Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services at 3200 Motor Ave. in Los Angeles. Joshua had been living at the center for about a year, police said.
Before that, Joshua had attended Becker Middle School and Cimarron-Memorial High School in northwest Las Vegas, police said.
Joshua was arrested Feb. 4 after leaving an AM/PM Mini Mart in Vista. He was booked on five counts of murder. A hearing set for April 8 in San Diego will determine if he will be tried as an adult.