Tennessee woman denied parole in Atlantic Beach pawn shop fatal shooting

troot@thesunnews.comJanuary 24, 2013 

— A Tennessee woman serving a 12-year sentence for her role in the 2008 shooting death of an Atlantic Beach pawn shop owner was denied early release from prison, according to an official with the S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.

Brenna Jennings, 33, was sentenced after she pleaded guilty in March 17, 2011 to being an accessory after the fact of murder in the July 25, 2008 shooting death of Thomas Lane Holcombe, the 37-year-old co-owner of Thee Pawn Shoppe on U.S. 17 in Atlantic Beach.

S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services spokesman Pete O’Boyle said her request for early release was denied during a parole hearing on Wednesday. Jennings will be allowed to request early release again in a year, around the time the minimum requirements for parole eligibility under her sentence will be completed.

Jennings is being held at the high-security Leath Correctional Institution for women in Greenwood, according to the S.C. Department of Corrections website. She is eligible to be released on parole in January 2014 and projected to be released after serving most of her sentence on good behavior in December 2014, according to the site.

Jennings’ husband, Jeffrey Ray Jennings, of Greeneville, Tenn., is serving life in prison without parole for Holcombe’s murder and 30 years for armed robbery. He pleaded guilty in 2010 in the case.

Jennings met and married Jeffrey Jennings while he was in prison in Tennessee, authorities said. Jeffrey Jennings was convicted in 1999 of aggravated robbery and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Jennings’ crime spree in 2008 began after he was arrested in Tennessee and was facing the revocation of his parole. Jennings met his estranged wife in Asheville, N.C., and the couple drove to Greenville where Jennings was robbed during a drug deal.

Two days before Holcombe’s murder, Jeffrey Jennings shot and killed a man in Taylors and robbed him as retribution for the bad drug deal, officials said. The couple then drove to Atlantic Beach where Holcombe was killed.

Police said Brenna Jennings also sold items that were stolen from Holcombe’s store while in Virginia and she stayed with Jeffrey Jennings until he dropped her off on Aug. 1, 2008. She was arrested the next day.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.

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