The defense for Richard Henderson Jr. is calling for a mistrial after one of the prosecution’s witness’ statement did not match her pretrial statement.
The request by lead defense attorney Carolyn Schlemmer came on the third day of testimony after the prosecution’s last witness of the day testified Henderson had told her he realized that his actions were wrong on the day he allegedly murdered his 11-year-old brother, parents and grandmother.
Witness Jennifer McCreary, who dated Henderson for a year in 2001-02, started to tell jurors Wednesday that Henderson had admitted to her what happened on the evening of the crime. She testified he told her he was playing video games with his brother, Jacob, in his room and that he killed him with a steel pipe.
“He realized what he had done and threw his brother’s body out the window,” McCreary said.
After killing his brother, she continued, Henderson told her he realized he had to kill his whole family. She said he went to his grandmother’s room and asked her to get something out of a nightstand, then killed her with a pipe.
“He closed the door so his father wouldn’t see,” McCreary said.
Henderson also hid the pipe, McCreary testified, and at one point retrieved it and wrapped a towel around it.
At that point in McCreary’s testimony, Judge Diana Moreland dismissed the jury for their evening break.
Out of the presence of the jury, defense attorney Carolyn Schlemmer told the judge that she was unaware the realization statement was ever made.
“There have been no statements (that) he realized what he did until this,” Schlemmer said.
Initially, Schlemmer said, McCreary gave a statement to the state attorney and a statement to the defense, but “at no point” did Henderson tell her he pushed his brother out the window because he realized what he did.
Way to go prosecution. You may have just screwed up what was a slam dunk. If the judge declares a mistrial a new trial would take place at a later date.
Today however the prosecution is trying to backtrack.
When McCreary retook the stand this morning, prosecutor Brian Iten asked her if she was sure that Henderson told her, “he realized what he had done.”
Said McCreary: “I’m not too confident.”
Iten then said to her: “Then you acknowledge when you gave a statement to the state attorney’s office you never mentioned that before.”
McCreary said, “Yes.”
Iten then asked the court to instruct the jury to disregard the statement made to the jury that he had realized what he had done.
Judge Moreland then instructed the jury to disregard that portion of McCreary’s testimony.
You can’t unring the bell.
As of the time I am posting this I have yet to hear a ruling on the mistrial request.