Alabama jury recommends death to a man convicted of five murders


Huntsville, Alabama (AP) —A jury sentenced a man convicted of killing his wife, her fetus, and three others in 2015 in a plan with another woman he married. Recommended.

The media reported last week that a Madison County jury, who had convicted Christopher Henderson, 46, of multiple murders, voted 11 to 1 to die for the murder. The judge will decide at a hearing on October 14 whether to impose the death penalty on Henderson or sentence him to life imprisonment without parole.

Henderson was convicted of shooting and stabbing his wife Christine Smallwood. Daughter of her fetal. Her 8-year-old son Clayton Chambers. Her 1-year-old nephew Eli Sokolovsky. And her mother, Carol Jean Smallwood.

Their bodies were found in a house burned down in August 2015 less than a week after Kristen Smallwood filed a court order to keep Henderson away from home. At that time, Henderson was married to another woman, Ronda Carlson, without divorcing Smallwood.

Carlson, 47, admitted to supporting the killing plan, but refused to participate in the killing. She provided testimony to help avoid the possibility of the death penalty in dealing with the prosecutor and lead to Henderson’s conviction.

Attorney Bruce Gardner urged the jury to impose life imprisonment, arguing that it was unfair for Henderson to face the death penalty, but Carlson did not. Outside the courtroom, Gardner said he initially expected psychiatric assessments to show evidence-based Henderson that he had a mental problem.

“Now he’s pretty stoic and accepts what’s happening now,” Gardner said of Henderson.

Prosecutor Tim Gunn said the results were worth the conviction. “Once you meet this family and see what happened, no one will be bothered to do the job,” Gunn said.

A hearing for Carlson, who was also charged with murder, is scheduled for later this month, but no trial date has been set.

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