Andre “Li’l Bear” Jenkins was sentenced yesterday to life in prison without the possibility of parole by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon for the murders of Kingsmen Motorcycle Club members Paul Maue and Daniel “DJ” Szymanski outside the club’s North Tonawanda, New York clubhouse in the early morning hours of September 6, 2014.
Sources, speaking anonymously, have described Jenkins as a former striker, or prospective member, of the Volusia County, Florida chapter. The club has nine chapter in Florida as well as nine chapters in New York and chapters in Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
Jenkins spent the years from 1998 through 2010 as an inmate in South Dakota. After jumping parole, he found his way to Florida where he worked in a carwash and aspired to become a Kingsmen. He was rejected by the club because he owed money and did not own a motorcycle.
After the murders he told his story to many people who, in turn, were willing to cooperate with police. He claimed to be a club “enforcer” who had come north with Kingsmen national president David Pirk to assassinate five Kingsmen who were threatening to leave the club. Many witnesses saw him at the crime scene. As he rode away on a borrowed motorcycle he exclaimed an acronym for “Live Kinsmen Die Kingsmen.” There was a witness on the back of the bike when he threw away the murder weapon. Another witness saw him burn his clothes. He was arrested near Savannah, Georgia in an automobile in November. Then he unabashedly told a jailhouse informant, “Everyone and their mom knows I killed these two.”
He had, reportedly, been offered a sentence of 25 years in prison in return for testifying against Pirk. He ate the big charge instead. It seems at least possible that much of the drama in which Jenkins starred was confined to the inside of his head.
In the meantime, federal authorities seem to be exploiting the murders of Maue and Szymanski to build a racketeering case against some bikers somewhere. In late August the FBI raided five Kingsmen clubhouses and a private residence in upstate New York and stole the Kingsmen logo from the front of the North Tonawanda clubhouse.
Yesterday, after Jenkins was sentenced, Syzmanski’s mother, Barb Syzmanski, told Rick Pfeiffer of the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, “He is definitely not a brother as he calls himself. A Kinsgmen. A brother. You don’t do that to a brother. He’s not a brother and he was hired by someone. He did this hit. Someone called the hit and he did it.”
“I prayed to God for seven years to have my son and finally God gave me my son and Andre Jenkins took him away in one second with a bullet to the back of his head,” she said.
Syzmanski’s father Sigmund told Pfeiffer, “He has to live everyday in prison. I hope he lives everyday with one eye open because he feels insecure and is always looking over his shoulder in prison because his brothers will get even with him for what he did to my son and Pauly,”
The loose ends of this tragedy, which concluded with more questions than answers, may now finally disappear from public view.