Nebraska inmate Erica Jenkins transferred to Iowa prison

Nebraska inmate Erica Jenkins transferred to Iowa prison
Erica Jenkins

LINCOLN — One of Nebraska’s problem prisoners has moved to Iowa.

Court records show that Erica Jenkins has been transferred from the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women in York to the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville.

Jenkins, 27, is serving life in prison for the 2013 slaying of Curtis Bradford of Omaha. She is the sister of death-row inmate Nikko Jenkins, who participated in Bradford’s killing and was responsible for three other murders.

Dawn-Renee Smith, spokeswoman for the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services, said she can’t discuss the reasons for the transfer because an inmate’s institutional file is not public. But Smith has previously said that out-of-state transfers can occur only with an inmate’s permission.

The transfer did not require Nebraska to accept an Iowa inmate in exchange for Jenkins, Smith said. Nor does Nebraska have to pay Iowa to house Jenkins under the transfer agreement, she added.

Had the transfer taken place a year ago, it might have saved Christine Bordeaux a concussion, broken forearm and fractured nasal bone.

Jenkins faces felony assault and weapons charges for allegedly using a combination lock as an improvised weapon to assault Bordeaux on Sept. 24, 2016. Bordeaux, who is Jenkins’ cousin, also was an inmate at the York prison, but she, too, has been transferred out of state. Officials have declined to say where.

Bordeaux, 43, testified against her cousin, helping prosecutors obtain robbery convictions. A prison investigator testified at a preliminary hearing earlier this year that Jenkins demanded that her cousin recant the testimony. The assault allegedly ensued when Bordeaux refused.

Although prison policy calls for the protection of witnesses for the state, staff members at York allowed the cousins to be placed in the same cell shortly before the assault occurred. Prison officials have not said how the breakdown occurred.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine has lamented the assault of Bordeaux, saying it could make other co-defendants less willing to testify for the state.

Jenkins has been a handful for authorities since she was arrested. She has been convicted of assaulting guards three times.

The transfer to Iowa means Jenkins will have to travel about 260 miles from the prison west of Des Moines to attend her court hearings in York. The added transportation costs will be covered by the state and not York County, Smith said.