From Yale straight to jail

February 14, 2003

A film script in the making - but we don't imagine people will be lining up to get the part of Tonica Jenkins, who was rumbled after she failed to make the grade as a graduate student at Yale University.

She faced up to 36 years in jail for faking admissions transcripts and blagging almost $16,000 (£9,900) in stipends, but the would-be biology student escaped with two years' probation after pleading guilty to larceny, forgery and biting a prison guard. She also had to repay the money.

Just months later, she and her mother were arrested in Florida while allegedly trying to buy 22lbs of cocaine for $70,000 from undercover customs agents.

Ms Jenkins is serving a 24-year sentence and is on trial again, in Ohio, for her part in an alleged plot to kidnap a woman, kill her and burn the body then steal her identity to beat the drugs rap. She was implicated by her cousin, who is serving ten years for the kidnapping. Ms Jenkins could face another 36 years behind bars if convicted of aggravated attempted murder.

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