Former Army medic Christopher Jenderseck pleaded guilty Monday to tampering with evidence as part of a deal that allows him to serve the rest of his seven-year sentence on probation in return for his testimony against the other defendants in the December 2011 murders of Tiffany York and Michael Roark.
The discovery of York’s and Roark’s bodies in Long County sparked an investigation that included local law enforcement; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division; the Georgia Bureau of Investigation; and the FBI and led to the disclosure of a militia group plotting terrorist attacks while operating inside the military at Fort Stewart.
Jenderseck, facing charges of tampering with evidence and violation of the street gang terrorism and prevention act, appeared before Liberty County Superior Court Judge Robert Russell. The former soldier is among 10 defendants accused of having ties to an anti-government group called F.E.A.R. or Forever Enduring Always Ready.
Three other defendants, Isaac Aguigui, Anthony Peden and Christopher Salmon, currently are charged in the slayings of Roark and York. A fourth co-defendant, Michael Burnett, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in August in Long County Superior court.
Atlantic Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Isabel Pauley said the investigation has led authorities to allege that Aguigui is the group’s ringleader who, according to testimony provided by Burnett, ordered Peden and Salmon to shoot Roark and York.
Pauley said Aguigui reportedly thought the couple would disclose information about FEAR and its plots to execute acts of terror in Washington state, Georgia and on Fort Stewart.
Days before the murders, Roark was discharged from the Army and had plans to move back to Washington state, Pauley said. York was planning on moving to her father’s home in California. Jenderseck was Roark’s roommate. He said he became close to Aguigui when he was assigned extra duty after a rough period in his life. Jenderseck said he suffered emotional trauma while deployed in Iraq, considered going AWOL, lost his grandfather went through a failed marriage and contemplated suicide.
Read more in the Oct. 17 edition of the News.