On Thursday, Jan. 6, the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office was scheduled to host its 15th annual Sea of Blue memorial for Trooper Calvin Jenks and other fallen officers, but the event has been cancelled due to inclement weather.
Jenks, 24, was shot at killed on Hwy. 14, near Cotton Lake, during a traffic stop on Jan. 6, 2007.
That night, he left the Criminal Justice Complex after an arrest, traveled back to the area of Hwy. 14 and moments later was murdered by two Texas teens who were trafficking drugs.
The sea of blue usually begins at the parking lot of the Tipton County Criminal Justice Complex, proceeds to Highway 59, then down Highway 14 and ending at the site on Highway 14 to an awaiting lone THP cruiser.
The sheriff’s office has erected a memorial honoring Trooper Jenks at the site where he was found by a hunter and it is there where the procession ends.
“Although we remember the ultimate sacrifice that Trooper Jenks made on January 6, 2007, we hold this Sea of Blue each year in his memory as well as all other law enforcement officers across our state and our nation that have been killed in the line of duty before and after this fateful night. This memorial serves as a reminder to every law enforcement officer of the inherent dangers that our profession holds and even more so today as attacks on law enforcement officers are on the rise”, said Sheriff Shannon Beasley. “Those in law enforcement proudly serve our communities throughout each city, county and state. We ask for your continued support and prayers each and every day as we go out to do God’s work and serve our fellow citizens.”
Garcia, Gauna still serving time
Fifteen years after the trooper’s death, the two responsible for shooting him and leaving him for dead are still behind bars, according to summary status reports obtained by The Leader.
Alejandro Gauna, who was only 17 when he fatally shot Jenks, was convicted of first-degree murder in May 2008 and is currently serving a life sentence at South Central Correctional Complex in Wayne County. He will be eligible for release on July 22, 2062.
While incarcerated, he’s received nine disciplinary actions four being out of place, refusing direct orders, creating disturbances, possession of a deadly weapon and refusing a cell assignment.
Gauna’s family members have visited him over the years. He is now 32 years old.
Orlando Garcia, who was 19 at the time, was convicted of facilitation of first-degree murder in December 2007. He is being housed at North East Correctional Complex in Johnson City. He was declined parole due to unspecified moderate risk factors several times.
Garcia, now 34, has served his sentence with the Tennessee Department of Corrections and was released from TDOC in September 2020 into the custody of the federal prison system in Beaumont, Texas. He had an active detainer for the U.S. Marshals that ran concurrent with the life sentence he received for killing Jenks during the drug-trafficking offense.
After conviction he filed an appeal for the life term sentence on Feb. 17, 2012 and it was denied four months later.
While in custody, he’s been disciplined for possession of contraband, intoxicants and a cell phone.
He received visits from his father, mother-in-law and friends while in custody in Tennessee.