Literary Agent Found Dead
Sunday, February 17, 2013
By Kelly Shackleton
Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department officials announced that Victor Jennings, 47, was found dead in his Turnberry Circle residence yesterday. Lee Merryweather, Jennings' personal assistant, made the chilling discovery Saturday evening.
Victor Jennings was on house arrest at the time of his death, awaiting trial on federal extortion charges involving celebrity power couple, Michael and Samantha Hawke. The Hawkes reportedly allowed federal authorities to set up a sting operation, which prosecutors claim provided irrefutable evidence against Jennings.
At the time of Jennings' arrest, his attorney, Thomas J. Eldon III, said his client was innocent of all charges. "This is nothing but a petty vendetta by the privileged Hollywood elite, who have manipulated the federal government into trying to silence those who only want to tell the truth about them."
Few details are known at this time about Jennings' death or the extortion charges against him, and authorities have declined to comment on the cause of death. YCSD Public Information Officer Elizabeth Jones did say that detectives are treating Jennings' death as a homicide, according to department procedure, and are awaiting autopsy results to determine whether Jennings' death was an accident or homicide.
Jennings was a longtime literary agent who brokered deals for many best-selling books and was best-known in the publishing industry as the driving force behind some of the most salacious celebrity tell-alls and unauthorized biographies of the last 15 years.
Victor Jennings is survived by his parents, Brad and Margaret Jennings, and his brother Raymond Jennings and family, all of Oxford. The family did not respond to requests for comment. Funeral arrangements are pending.