The couple that was arrested in the Melissa Jenkins case has pled not guilty to second degree murder despite the large amount of evidence surrounding the case. Many are horrified by the incident, and some have stated that the charges against them should be far more severe.
The body of 33-year-old Melissa Jenkins, a science teacher at St. Johnsbury Academy, was discovered on Tuesday following a missing person report filed two days prior. It was discovered that Jenkins was missing when her 2-year-old son Tie was found in the back of an idling SUV Sunday night.
Police later confirmed that they were seeking a couple in relation to the murder. Allen Prue, 30, and his wife, Patricia Prue, 33 were arraigned on Wednesday, charged with second degree murder and the improper disposal of a body. Prior to arraignment, police suggested caution.
"We don't know if it's an isolated incident. We expect the public to use all diligence and vigilance while out and about," Detective Sgt. Walter Smith said in a statement on Monday.
On Wednesday, the Prues pled not guilty to charges on murder despite the reported amount of evidence backing the case. Allen Prue had snow plowed Jenkin's yard a year ago, but his services were dismissed after he had made a pass at Jenkins and asked her on a date.
Given the gruesome details of the murder, some have rasied concern over the pending charges of second degree murder.
"'Second Degree' murder? Premeditated FIRST DEGREE murder. Planned and executed because the slob couldn't take 'no' for an answer. Then his low-life wife jumped in to finish the deal. So how does this all equate to 2nd degree?" ArjayOfTheBronx questioned on the Daily News blog.
"This is a premeditated murder in the first degree and should be charged as such!" MsObvious added.
Jenkins was grabbed from her SUV and strangled in front of her 2-year old son who later attempted to describe what he saw to police. Later, her body was stripped naked and bleached to remove any evidence before it was thrown in a shallow boat access and covered in cinder blocks to weigh it down.