An Alabama man convicted on 15 counts of capital homicide in July for viciously killing his estranged pregnant spouse, her mom, and three younger kids in 2015 was sentenced to dying on Thursday.
Madison County Circuit Courtroom Choose Chris Comer handed the sentence on 46-year-old Christopher Henderson after the identical jury that beforehand convicted him on the capital homicide costs voted 11-1 to suggest the state put him to dying, Huntsville CBS affiliate WHNT-TV reported. The jurors took roughly two days of deliberating to achieve the advice.
Henderson was discovered responsible of fatally capturing and stabbing his estranged spouse Kristen Smallwood, her unborn baby Loryn Brooke Smallwood, her 8-year-old son Clayton Chambers, her one-year-old nephew Eli Sokolowski, and her mom Jean Smallwood. Kristen was reportedly 9 months pregnant when Henderson stabbed her to dying.
Beneath Alabama Code § 13A-6-1, “an unborn baby in utero at any stage of improvement, no matter viability” is taken into account an individual when their life is resulted in a legal murder.
The slayings all befell inside Kristen’s dwelling in New Market, which Henderson then set on hearth.
Henderson’s first spouse, Rhonda Carlson—to whom he was nonetheless married on the time he and Smallwood had been married—conceded that she helped him with the killings and testified towards him at his trial in trade for prosecutors taking the dying penalty off the desk.
Kelly Smallwood Sokolowski, Kristen’s sister and the mom of younger Eli, addressed the court docket on the behest of Madison County Chief Deputy District Lawyer Tim Gann throughout Thursday’s sentencing listening to.
“This has affected me in some ways. I misplaced my mom and my greatest pal. She was the one I might discuss to about something. I misplaced my sister Kristen. She beloved particularly when it got here to her son and her unborn daughter Lauren,” she mentioned, according to Birmingham FOX affiliate WBRC.
“Eli was my entire coronary heart. I needed to discover a new method to get via every day with out him. I by no means bought to listen to him say mommy or have his first day of faculty—graduate, get married, or deal with me once I get outdated.”
Previous to Comer passing the sentence, Henderson and his protection lawyer Bruce Gardner each addressed the court docket on his behalf.
“Life is all the time the higher selection. We ask that you just impose life imprisonment with out the opportunity of parole,” Gardner reportedly mentioned.
He additionally highlighted the truth that not all 12 jurors voted for dying, reportedly saying, “sometime I predict it is going to be that manner, it is going to require a unanimous jury,” earlier than including, “Possibly that is the case that may do this. We’ll discover out.”
All through the trial, Gardner had repeatedly painted Carlson because the mastermind behind the slayings, referring to her plea settlement with prosecutors as a “take care of the satan,” per a earlier report from WHNT.
Henderson supplied a quick apology when he spoke.
“I’d like to provide my deepest apologies to the household,” Henderson reportedly advised the court docket. “That is an occasion that ought to’ve by no means occurred. I’d additionally prefer to apologize to my mother and my daughter. I had papers written as I laid in mattress with Covid for a month. That is one thing I needed to say from the guts.”
Choose Comer apparently didn’t discover the apology convincing, sentencing Henderson to dying quickly after.
“Mr. Henderson, could God have mercy in your soul,” Comer reportedly mentioned, including, “Could God present peace to the households of this tragedy.”
A previous report from WHNT included testimony from Dr. Steven Duton, who offered the jury with graphic particulars of how Henderson’s sufferer’s died.
“Smallwood was 9-months pregnant. Her child was eliminated and in addition sustained stab wounds. Smallwood’s 8-year-old son, Clayton Chambers, was stabbed a number of occasions. Her 1-year-old nephew was additionally stabbed a number of occasions,” the report acknowledged. “The 1-year-old is believed to of died from carbon monoxide poisoning from when the home was set on hearth. Dr. Dunton says there isn’t any method to inform if the toddler was aware when the hearth overtook the home and the victims.”
Duton additionally testified that primarily based on scarring within the lungs, the entire victims apart from Eli died earlier than the home was set ablaze.
[image via Madison County Sheriff’s Department]
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https://lawandcrime.com/crime/alabama-man-who-murdered-pregnant-wife-in-third-trimester-and-3-young-children-is-sentenced-to-death/ | Christopher Henderson Sentenced to Dying