Christopher Henderson convicted of murder in Madison County; prosecution hopes for the death penalty

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 10:31 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - It took two days and fourteen hours of deliberation for a jury of 12 to decide: Christopher Henderson is guilty of capital murder.

Henderson is now convicted of killing his second wife, Kristen Henderson with the help of his first wife. Thursday, the jury also found him guilty of killing their unborn child and Kristen’s mother, nephew and son before burning the New Market home in 2015.

The jury only had to agree on one capital murder charge to submit a guilty verdict, but they agreed on all 15 Christopher Henderson had.

Three days of testimony, two days of deliberations and it all came down to this: Christopher Henderson convicted on 15 capital murder charges in total.

”It wasn’t totally unexpected. The facts of this case were tough from the onset,” defense attorney Bruce Gardner said.

“We could not be more satisfied,” prosecuting attorney Tim Gann said.

After viewing body camera footage, surveillance video and listening to detailed autopsy reports, the jury agreed Henderson is guilty of the deaths of five people in 2015. Including his second wife Kristen Henderson, who was 9 months pregnant with their child, as well as her son, nephew and mother.

Gann says Kristen’s family has been waiting for this day for six years.

“They feel like justice is being served right now. They’re extremely happy. It’s a good day for them,” Gann said.

But the work is not done.

Friday, the defense and prosecution will present mitigating and aggravating factors to the jury, making the case for the death penalty or sparing his life.

“This case deserves the death penalty without a doubt. And that’s what we’re going to be asking the jury to do. And I know that’s going to be a hard ask, but this case warrants it,” Gann said.

The attorney representing Christopher Henderson, on the other hand, says he doesn’t believe any defendant should get the death penalty.

“It’s just astonishing to me that in an American courtroom we’re still talking about killing people. I’ll be asking the jury to think less with their head and more with their heart about what is fair in this case. And fair is a life sentence for Chris Henderson,” Gardner said.

That’s because Gardner says co-defendant Rhonda Carlson is just as responsible for the murders.

“The biggest mitigating factor, in this case, is the fundamental unfairness, in my view of two people equally guilty,” Gardner explained.

WAFF 48 asked Gardner if Henderson feels any remorse for what he’s done...

“It probably doesn’t come through because we haven’t let him say anything yet, but I think he does for sure.”

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