In the first COVID-19-Era First Degree Murder Trial, jurors convicted James “Jimbo” Pennington for the murder of Devyn Martin in Indian Lake Estates in 2017.
During the 6 day trial, jurors heard testimony from Polk County Sheriff’s Deputies and other witnesses to the crime. Assistant State Attorney Jaenea Gorman presented evidence to the jurors that the victim went to Pennington’s house to talk to his friend, Christopher Walters, but while he was there, Pennington became angry and ordered Martin off his property.
Pennington went inside his home and returned with a compound bow. He shot an arrow at the victim, narrowly missing the man. The victim reached into his golf cart he was driving and pulled out a rifle, not pointing the weapon at Pennington. Pennington then returned inside his home and came back with a sawed-off shotgun.
The victim never followed Pennington and never threatened him. He attempted to duck when Pennington fired the shot that killed him. Pennington then concealed the victim’s body in a wooded area next to his house. Later, Pennington told deputies that the victim needed to be “exterminated.” Jurors deliberated for 4 ½ hours before finding Pennington guilty as charged. He was sentenced to life in prison. State Attorney Brian Haas thanks Assistant State Attorney Gorman and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for their work in this case.