Saturday, August 4, 2007

Henderson jury selection resumes Monday


Jury selection is expected to resume Monday in the murder trial of Richard Henderson Jr., the 22-year-old Myakka man charged with killing four members of his family Thanksgiving Day 2005.

It will be the sixth day of questioning to seat a jury of 12 with two alternates in the death penalty case. The jury pool, originally 175 residents, is down to 56.

It was been a long, slow process to find residents to hear the expected trial, expected to last through Aug. 17.

Throughout the days of interviews, dozens told the court they had formed an opinion that Henderson was guilty from pretrial publicity. Others simply said they had fixed opinions on the death penalty that would not allow them to be fair and impartial.

Henderson's public defenders - Carolyn Schlemmer, Franklin Roberts and Jennifer Joynt-Sanchez - initially tried to move the case out of Manatee County because of media coverage. But Moreland earlier ruled she wanted to see if an impartial jury could be selected here.

Henderson, 22, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and prosecutors Art Brown and Brian Iten plan to prove he killed his father, Richard Sr.; mother Jeaneane; grandmother June; and 11-year-old brother Jacob with a steel pipe Thanksgiving Day 2005.

After the killings, detectives say, Henderson showered and wrote a confession letter found later by investigators.

Henderson is thought by detectives to have spent the night in his parents' bedroom, before driving to a girlfriend's house in his parents' van, according to sheriff's reports. He spent the next two nights in a hotel in Ellenton.

Three days after the killing, a concerned relative went to the Hendersons' home and found the bodies.

If convicted, prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.

Henderson's attorneys said they plan to call doctors to testify that their client is insane.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was one of the 56 left to be pick from I just moved to Fl 6 months ago and had no knowledge what so ever about this case or Richard Henderson. I was not pick to sit on the jury. but from talk around during my time he will not be given the not guity due to being insane. some of the 56 was sitting inside the halls yelling hang him. I was shocked at some that was picked from comemnts made. I can now only base my choice on info I read from that alone I would say guity has charged. But of course not hearing all the facts is hard to say that.