HOUSTON Houston police said there has been a break in a cold-case murder after the alleged killer wrote a letter to authorities to confess.

Jevonnie Jenkins was killed on March 2, 1997 in a neighbor s house after some men pulled up in a car to rob the 20-year-old and his friends. His grandmother lives next door in southeast Houston s South Park community and heard the fatal shot.

That s when I walked on in these people s house. I saw my grandson laying on the floor, so when I saw him on the floor I just start (screaming) and I ran back out to call my daughter, said Queen Jenkins, the victim s grandmother with whom he lived.

That was 16 years ago. Then, out of the blue recently, authorities in Houston got a letter from a prison inmate near Wichita Falls, Texas. The inmate said he was the one who shot and killed Jevonnie in cold blood. He was 15 then so authorities are certifying him retroactively as an adult, but shielding his identify for now, Houston police said.

The man who confessed is now 32 and already serving 39 years for aggravated robbery, retaliation against a witness and an escape attempt.

Jevonnie Jenkins mother told us she wants the court to show mercy.

I don t want any charges put on him, said Gloria Jenkins. Because he was a baby at the time....I m thinking (the inmate) has probably did and been and seen so many bad things in his life til I want to give him a chance to get out at least as a young man at 50 to try to live his life.

She and her mother also said they feel guilty.

I was accusing the wrong person, said Queen Jenkins.

They said they always suspected one of Jevonnie s friends.

For 16 years, Gloria Jenkins said.

Jevonnie s grandmother said the confession brings her no relief.

It just seems like that he just died with all this stuff coming back up to me, Queen Jenkins said. Cuz it s not gone bring my grandson back here on Earth.

But the victim s mother, surprisingly, feels gratitude.

He didn t have to tell it. He could ve went to his grave with it and he was just a baby, Gloria Jenkins said.

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