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Star-Telegram.com

Fort Worth man gets life for fatally stabbing mother of his children

Posted Thursday, Jul. 12, 2012

By Dianna Hunt

dhunt@star-telegram.com

FORT WORTH -- A Fort Worth man was sentenced to life Thursday for fatally stabbing the mother of his two children.

A jury deliberated less than an hour before convicting a Fort Worth man in the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend.

On Wednesday, a jury in the court of state District Judge Louis Sturns found James Cody Sparks, 25, of Fort Worth guilty of murder in the death of Christy Jenkins, 19, his girlfriend. The jury deliberated less than an hour before the guilty verdict, and about 20 minutes before assessing the maximum sentence, plus a $10,000 fine.

Prosecutors Sean Colston and Michelle Dobson presented evidence that Sparks had warned repeatedly that he might kill Jenkins and that Jenkins had reported him to authorities but decided not to pursue charges.

On Sept. 27, 2010, Jenkins had gone to talk to Sparks at his home in the 300 block of Chandler Drive in Fort Worth. She emerged about 10 minutes later, running for help. She had been stabbed 11 times. A neighbor caught up with her and asked who stabbed her, Colson told jurors during closing arguments.

"Cody," Jenkins said.

"Where were you stabbed?" the neighbor asked.

"All over," Jenkins replied.

"Then she collapsed," Colston said. "This is not a whodunit. Cody Sparks is in fact guilty of the offense of murder."

Defense attorney Edwin Youngblood urged jurors during closing arguments to weigh the evidence and consider only what they deemed credible.

"There are gaps in the evidence," he said.

A jury of 11 convicted Sparks. One of the original jurors recognized the victim's relatives and alerted the judge that he or she could not be impartial. That juror was dismissed.

The punishment phase is set to begin today.

Dianna Hunt, 817-390-7084 Twitter: @DiannaHunt