*GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING* – This web story documents the specific allegations against a murder suspect, including specific details of murders including a pregnant woman and young children.
MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – Tuesday marked day seven of the Christopher Henderson capital murder trial. The 46-year-old is facing a possible death sentence for the killings of five people, including his 9-months pregnant wife.
Neither side has presented arguments yet. The attorneys are continuing the painstaking process of vetting potential jurors.
As expected, quite a few potential jurors were relieved of their service. Some had medical excuses, some time conflicts, others were visibly upset in listening to the descriptions of the evidence from the indictment. But the parties say still opening statements could come as early as Thursday.
Over the past few days the prosecution specifically has directly asked jurors one question, “can you do it?”
Tuesday during introductions, prosecutor Tim Gann told potential jurors it wasn’t fair that they were summoned to serve in this kind of case. He said prosecutors needed an honest answer to if they can handle the nature of the crimes alleged in this case.
The prosecution said they can’t really afford to lose jurors in the middle of the trial. Gann told the jurors once they see and hear the evidence presented against Henderson, he has no doubt the verdict will be guilty on all counts and the jurors will then have to choose between the only two options: the death penalty or life without parole.
Gann gave potential jurors a preview of what evidence they could see. It includes crime scene photographs of a 14-month-old stabbed to death in a crib and set on fire, an 8-year-old stabbed to death and set on fire, and a mother who had a full-term fetus cut out of her womb, which was also stabbed and set on fire.
Madison County Circuit Judge Chris Comer said parties hope to strike a jury no later than Wednesday night. Gann told the judge the state is prepared to make its case in just a three-day timeline.
The other woman Henderson was married to at the time of the crime, and Henderson’s co-defendant, Rhonda Carlson, is set to take the witness stand against him in the case in exchange for life without parole, taking the death penalty off the table.