Affidavit reveals details, extended timeline in homicide after body found wrapped in plastic
Published 4:12 pm Monday, March 20, 2023
ORANGE — Russell James Kinney was extradited to Orange County Monday, hands and feet shackled while being accompanied by law enforcement.
He is charged in the death of his live-in girlfriend Jenny Baxter, whose body was found three weeks after her suspected death.
As of Monday afternoon, Kinney had not been arraigned by a judge, according to information from the sheriff’s office.
Port Arthur Newsmedia acquired the probable cause affidavit for the arrest of Kinney, 38. The document sheds light into the alleged timeline of the crime.
The investigator in the case stated her belief that on or about Feb. 21 Kinney intentionally or knowingly caused the death of Baxter.
Officials have not released the cause of death, and autopsy results conclude no fatal trauma was identified. The findings are pending toxicology and investigative information.
On March 14, sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Denbow Mobile Home Park, 206 FM 1131 near Vidor for a welfare check on Baxter.
Deputies met with the caller, who was a neighbor of Baxter’s, who told police Baxter was wheelchair-bound and had a caregiver. The neighbor told police she had not seen Baxter or her caregiver since approximately Christmas.
Deputies checked and were unable to locate Baxter and completed a missing person’s report, the document read.
A short time later a family member called the sheriff’s office. Family members had gone to the home to check on the woman’s pets and found what they believed to be a human body wrapped in plastic underneath the bed.
A search warrant was obtained by law enforcement for Baxter’s residence and, with the assistance of the Texas Rangers and the Jefferson County Crime Lab, processed the home and recovered what was believed to be a body.
Investigators learned from neighbors and family members of Baxter that she had been in a relationship with Kinney and he had been living with her for the several months, the document read.
Kinney was reportedly last seen at Baxter’s home three days prior to the call for a welfare check.
Before the March 14 call, there was a call to service at the home on Dec. 19 where Kinney was reportedly observed at the home by responding deputies.
Kinney was arrested March 15 after a deputy with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle he was driving. He was arrested on unrelated traffic charges and placed in the Liberty County Jail.
After his arrest he was interviewed at the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and made a statement to investigators.
The statement was not released in the affidavit, but officials with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office previously said Kinney confessed to the homicide.
Due to the ongoing investigation, some of the records and information in the probable cause affidavit has not been released, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.