(As originally published with photos and her speech that lasted two minutes, 23 seconds, Fri, May 6th 2022, 12:32 PM EDT)
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — “This has been a long struggle for me,” Gloria Harold started telling a silent courtroom, Friday morning. “And what has happened to my daughter has affected my life.”
But it wasn’t all about her.
“And the life of my family,” she said.
Harold, actually the grandmother of Makeva Jenkins, tried to keep her composure, Friday morning.
She made the only victim’s impact statement to the judge, minutes after a jury found Makeva’s husband guilty of first-degree murder for arranging the shooting that killed her.
Pausing frequently through tears, she included the extended family including her former grandson-in-law: “But most of all I know it affects Euri’s mom and his family too, because my great-granddaughter’s birthday is today, and we had so many plans for his daughter and mine. I have nothing bad to say about him.”
Wearing a t-shirt that says Justice for Makeva, Harold said that was her goal: “All I wanted was justice for my child. And now nobody wins in this case. They came to the verdict I wanted them to have but neither side was a winner. I know how he has made his family feel because they had no idea he could do something like this.”
Her unscripted thoughts lasted two minutes and 23 seconds. “I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to bring up nothing how she was, what she meant to me and where she came from.”
Then, the camera turned, and Euri Jenkins appeared to be wiping his eyes as he listened. “I just wanted him to have enough time to think about what he has done. Not only what he has done to me but also to his family. All I want is for him to find peace now because I feel like my child will have peace. And all I ever wanted was to find peace with me and my family and her children.”
Makeva Jenkins left behind three young children, the younger two with Euri Jenkins.
“The worst thing about it, she’s not here for her daughter. Her oldest daughter is graduating in two weeks. In the next two weeks, she’s going to Florida State University and that’s all she ever wanted, for her mom to be by her side. I don’t want to think about nothing else but make sure she finds peace with that.”
Weeks after the 2017 murder, pleading for an arrest, family members told CBS12 News they’d only been able to speak with the oldest because Euri Jenkins wouldn’t let them speak with the others.
But it was all others on her mind, standing before the court. “And he’s well with his family. And his baby daughter. Her birthday is today. I have nothing bad to say about him or nobody. I just wanted peace for my family. And that’s all I could say. I can’t bring myself to say what this has done to me. From the day I brought her home from the hospital. I just want everybody to find peace after this. That’s it.”
Then, Euri Jenkins’ sentence was handed down. The judge says he did not have control. It was mandatory life in prison.