Defense's ''other suspect'' testifies in Mateu trial

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) -- The man the defense claims could have killed Jose R. Mateu took the stand Friday in the third murder trial of Mateu's son.

Jose M. ''Che'' Mateu, 20, is charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the January 2000 shooting of his father in Ketchikan. He is being tried in Juneau Superior Court. Two trials in Ketchikan ended in hung juries.

The defense is hoping to show that family friend Jeff Jenkinson had motive and opportunity to kill the elder Mateu.

In a pre-emptive move, the prosecution called Jenkinson to the stand, hoping to show he had an alibi for Jan. 13, 2000, the night troopers claim Che Mateu shot his father.

Jenkinson testified he had just returned from a 13-day commercial shrimping trip and was aboard the fishing vessel tied at the Bar Harbor float between 10:30 and 11:30 p.m.

He and another crew member took a taxi to the Potlatch Bar, he said, and after about an hour, left and retired to their respective boats in Thomas Basin.

Jenkinson said he went back to work on the fishing boat the next morning and unloaded shrimp, refueled and cleaned up the vessel. He learned of the murder later that day.

Under questioning from District Attorney Richard Svobodny, Jenkinson acknowledged that he had stayed regularly with the Mateus and knew where keys to the house and gun cabinet were kept.

The trial is to resume Monday with Jenkinson again taking the stand.

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