DNA evidence leads to man's arrest in wife's murder in DC cold c - KMSP-TV

DNA evidence leads to man's arrest in wife's murder in DC cold case

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Michael Henderson Michael Henderson
WASHINGTON -

New DNA testing in a District of Columbia cold case has led to the arrest of a Georgia man.

Michael Henderson was taken into custody Wednesday in Rockdale County, Ga., and charged for a second time with the murder of his estranged wife.

Henderson was convicted in 1991 of the 1987 killing of Cheryl Henderson, but the conviction was overturned on appeal.

According to a motion filed in D.C. Superior Court, the U.S. Attorney’s Office dismissed the charges against Henderson in 1995.

He was freed from prison and the best we have been able to learn so far is he remarried and moved to Georgia in 2010.

But the investigation into his wife's murder never ended, and recently, prosecutors in the cold case section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office had evidence found at the scene of the murder tested to see if they could conclusively link Henderson to the crime.

In 1987, Henderson and his wife had split, and Cheryl Henderson moved to the District where she took a job cleaning offices at the Chamber of Commerce downtown.

According to a motion filed May 22 in D.C. Superior Court, Cheryl Henderson was found June 24, 1987 in some high weeds across from 3010 Q Street in Southeast D.C.

She had been stabbed over 30 times.

News accounts at the time say a ten-year-old girl found the body on her way to bible school.

Henderson became a suspect right away and he was convicted in June of 1991.

But the conviction was overturned on the grounds the jury should have been able to see more of Henderson’s interview with police and the jury should not have heard about his refusal to say where he was the night of the murder.

According to the court motion, the U.S. Attorney’s Office decided in 1995 to dismiss the case to perform further investigation.

According to a source familiar with the investigation, the victim’s sister wrote former Mayor Adrian Fenty asking for help in 2005.

A search was then conducted for the evidence and investigators eventually found a cap that had been found at the scene.

Although it is unclear what DNA evidence led to the indictment, detectives suggested the cap should have been tested further.

Our attempts to reach the family Friday have been unsuccessful.


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