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Parents Sue Jacksonville Apartment Complex for Son's Death

6:05 PM, Dec 29, 2009   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Pemberton family is suing The District on Kernan Apartments after their son was shot and killed there.

Timothy John Pemberton, 20, was shot and killed at the apartments on Kernan Boulevard in the early morning hours of Oct. 6.

Pemberton's father, Stanley, said when his son decided to move to Jacksonville from Texas for school, they immediately started looking into apartments. He went to more than a dozen apartments to find the safest one for his son, he said. 

Pemberton thought The District on Kernan was a good pick.

"You're supposed to have security at nighttime and a gate for guests to be invited in after a certain time of night. It appeared to be a very safe place to live and the end results are not conclusive to that point," said Stanley Pemberton.

Pemberton's attorney Charles Sorenson said the Southside apartment complex has a history of violent activity, including 2 homicides, 64 assaults and 3 armed robberies over the last decade.

Because of that, Sorenson said, The District is liable for Timothy Pemberton's death. The complex's management is not making changes required by law to create a safer environment, he said.

"The apartment complex has a duty to their tenants to provide adequate security and they failed to do that here and we believe that's one of the reasons this young man was shot," said Sorenson.

The management at The District did not return a phone call seeking comment for this story. 

Three men were arrested in the shooting. Marvin Vincent Jenkins and Christopher Dwaynon Jenkins, both 18 and cousins, face charges of murder and armed robbery. Lamar Desean Hayes, 20, faces the same charges; police said he is the one who shot Pemberton.

The Jenkins cousins are residents of The District, police said.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office investigators said they believe the three men planned to rob another person at the complex, but ran into Pemberton on the way and robbed him instead.

Police said Pemberton fought back as Hayes tried to rob him, and that's when Hayes fatally shot him. Among the clues that led police to these three suspects is a cell phone one of them dropped at the scene.

First Coast News

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