2 Women Connected to First Federal Hate Crime Case Plead Guilty

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com April 14 2012 10:40 AM ET

Two women pleaded guilty for their part in what the Justice Department is calling the first use of its new hate crimes law.

Mable Ashley Jenkins and Alexis LeAnn Jenkins admit they tricked Kevin Pennington, who is gay, into getting in a pickup truck where two men waited, CNN reports. Pennington was then driven into a state park against his will and beaten.

The Justice Department has indicted to the two men in a hate crime, the first prosecuted under the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Lawyers for the men say it's a drug deal gone bad.

The two women are Anthony Jenkins's wife and sister, according to CNN, and would face life sentences but the details of their plea agreement are sealed. The men could also face life in prison.