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Crime & Courts

Henderson trial date remains set for Dec. 17

Defense unaware whether suspect will take the stand during trial

Richard Henderson (left), 26, of Standard, and his defense attorney, Roger Bolin, listen during a Putnam County Court hearing back in September. Henderson was back in court Thursday in connection with the January killing of Diamond Bradley, 16, of Spring Valley.
Richard Henderson (left), 26, of Standard, and his defense attorney, Roger Bolin, listen during a Putnam County Court hearing back in September. Henderson was back in court Thursday in connection with the January killing of Diamond Bradley, 16, of Spring Valley.

In a Thursday status hearing lasting about a minute in Putnam County Court, the defense attorney for murder suspect Richard A. Henderson told the judge pre-trial motions would be filed by Nov. 6. 

Henderson, 26, of Standard, is accused in the January killing of a 16-year-old Bureau County girl. He previously decided to waive his right to a jury trial and will have his fate decided by Judge Stephen A. Kouri during a bench trial scheduled to begin Dec. 17. 

Henderson faces charges of three counts of murder for the stabbing death of Diamond Bradley, of Spring Valley. She was last seen by her family on Jan. 23, was reported missing the next day, and her body was found along a rural Putnam County road on Jan. 27.

Henderson was taken into custody on Feb. 5 after investigators linked him to Bradley through interviews, surveillance footage, and cell phone data. 

A motions hearing was set for 10 a.m. on Nov. 21. 

While Public Defender Roger Bolin didn't elaborate, he did say after the hearing that a few pre-trial motions will likely be filed and that he had recently received additional evidence to review. He also said he didn't know whether Henderson would take the stand during his trial. 

Putnam County State's Attorney Christina Judd-Mennie said, "We're ready," when asked about the state's case against Henderson. The prosecution has previously stated it had an "abundance of evidence." 

Both the prosecution and the defense are expecting the trial to last only three or four days. 

Henderson was initially charged with concealment of a homicidal death, a Class 3 felony with a sentencing range of two to five years. However, Bolin successfully got that charge dropped during a Sept. 6 status hearing. 

Bolin argued the 120-day limit of the Speedy Trial Act has been exceeded, and Judd-Mennie agreed to drop the charge to focus on the murder charges. 

The three additional first-degree murder charges were entered on Aug. 30, and each carries concurrent $1 million bonds with 10 percent to apply. If convicted, Henderson faces 20 years to life in prison with each felony charge, and would have to serve 100 percent of his sentence. 

Henderson previously entered pleas of not guilty on all counts. 

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