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Three Minutes with Jaclyn Jenkins

Deputy district attorney enjoys hiking, running in spare time

Published on September 13, 2017 7:05AM

Jaclyn Jenkins

Contributed photo

Jaclyn Jenkins

Jaclyn Jenkins

Umatilla County Chief Deputy District Attorney

When and why did you move to Hermiston?

I originally moved to Hermiston when I was 10, because my sister and I moved in with our aunt, who was a teacher here. I left for college (Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington) and then law school (Hofstra University School of Law in Hempstead, N.Y.). I came back after law school because I missed my home, and also because I wanted to practice law and give back to the community that had given an awful lot to me.

What is your favorite place to eat in Hermiston?

La Palma! I can’t wait until it opens again!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

When I have spare time, I have two dogs that I love to take up into the mountains. We try to get a good hike in every weekend. I love Zumba, and do it as frequently as I can! I try to run when I can. I also like visiting friends, traveling, going to concerts and working in my garden.

What surprises you about Hermiston?

Its growth. I can remember when I was younger growing up here, and it was just so much smaller. It’s amazing how much this now not-so-little town has grown in a relatively short amount of time.

What was the last book you read?

The Alienist, by Caleb Carr.

What app or website do you use most often other than Facebook or Google?

Probably E-Courts, for work! I spend way too much of my Internet life there! But, for fun, probably Pandora. I love listening to music, and enjoy the variety.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

I was lucky enough to get to go to New Orleans for a training. Because I was there for work, I did not get near enough time to sight-see. I would love to go back — what I was able to see and do was amazing!

What is the funniest/most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?

As I said, I like to take my dogs hiking in the mountains. One time, we had just finished a hike. I was in my car, with my dog (at that time I only had one), getting ready to go. A vehicle pulled up next to mine, such that the driver’s side windows were facing each other. The driver, a man with no shirt on, asked me if there was anyone else on the trail. I told him no (because there was not). He then told me that he was not from Oregon. I smiled and waited, for whatever else he needed to ask or say. I was not prepared when he asked me if I was aware if it was legal in Oregon to hike naked! I was totally surprised, as hiking naked seemed to me to be a bad idea on multiple levels. Uncharacteristically short of words, I simply told him that I did not know that it was illlegal to hike naked. He then asked me if it would bother me if he did (hike naked). I told him no, that we were leaving. He said, “We?” I said, the dog and myself. When I looked up, there he was, at the trailhead, in nothing but his hiking boots and socks. It was only later that I realized that he was probably naked THE ENTIRE TIME HE WAS TALKING TO ME!

What is one of your goals for the next 12 months?

I would like to run a half marathon.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Professionally, in 2014 my boss, District Attorney Primus, and I, successfully tried a murder case (State v. Craigen) together. It was our first murder trial, and the defendant did not make that case easy. I feel like the conviction made the community safer, and also hope that the conviction gave the victim’s family some small measure of peace. Personally, this summer, I did an overnight hike with some people up to Ice Lake in the Eagle Caps. I had been planning, and buying equipment, to do an overnight hiking trip for over a year. The hike was steep and beautiful and a lot of fun! I plan to do more in the future!


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