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Crime & Courts

Live coverage will be allowed in Putnam County case

State's attorney anticipates additional charges

Richard Henderson
Richard Henderson

A judge ruled live media coverage of the Putnam County case against Richard A. Henderson — accused of concealing the January death of a 16-year-old Spring Valley girl — will be allowed.

Judge Stephen Kouri, responding to a coverage request by the Peoria Journal Star, said at a status hearing Tuesday he would allow broadcast cameras in his courtroom with certain parameters. Neither State’s Attorney Christina (Judd) Mennie or public defender Roger Bolin offered any objections before the ruling.

Kouri said he will announce those exact media restrictions in the near future. Mennie explained each media outlet wanting to live cover Henderson’s trial must file in advance individual requests to bring cameras or audio equipment into the court.

Henderson, 26, of Standard, is charged with hiding the Jan. 24 homicide of Diamond Bradley, but not with the murder itself. Nonetheless, police have said they believe Henderson murdered Bradley. Henderson was arrested Feb. 5 and remains in custody.

Previously, police have said Henderson met the 16-year-old Bradley online, then drove to her home and picked her up Jan. 24. Henderson then drove to 850 North Road in Putnam County, a few miles from Standard, where the two got into a violent argument.

Detectives theorize Henderson stabbed the girl to death at that rural scene, leaving her along a roadside ditch. Bradley’s body was found three days later by a passerby.

Last week, Putnam County Sheriff investigators revealed they believe they found the murder weapon at a commercial greenhouse in rural Granville where Henderson worked at the time of the crime.

The weapon, not yet described by authorities, is being analyzed by the state police forensic laboratory as is other evidence from the case.

Following Tuesday’s hearing, Mennie said she anticipates additional charges will be filed against Henderson soon, but would not speculate as to when that may happen.

Henderson’s next court date was set for 2 p.m. Thursday, May 10.

A status hearing for another Putnam County resident, Clifford “Skip” Andersen Jr., 68, charged with the August 2016 murder of his sister-in-law, Deborah Dewey, is set for 11 a.m. Thursday, April 19. His trial remains scheduled for Monday, May 7.

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