MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) – Midland County District Attorney Laura Nodolf announced a 33-year-old Arkansas man was sentenced by jury on Tuesday, February 8, 2022, to 60 years in prison for the Murder, Tampering with Evidence and Tampering with a Corpse.
The jury also assessed 10 years in prison on each count of Tampering.
The trial of The State of Texas v. Willie Otey Henderson began on Monday, January 31, 2022.
The offense occurred on Friday, October 19, 2018, when Henderson and others went to his neighbor’s apartment and shot the victim in the abdomen causing him to be instantly paralyzed from the waist down.
Henderson then stepped over the victim and ransacked the apartment.
On his way out of the apartment, Henderson collected the victim’s phones and keys and locked the door preventing the discovery of the victim’s body until Sunday afternoon.
While the victim was undiscovered, Henderson moved the victim’s truck to another apartment complex two blocks away and while walking back to his apartment disposed of the victim’s phones in a roadside ditch.
The victim’s brothers discovered the body after the victim failed to show up to work and no one was able to get in touch with the victim.
The police were notified, and the investigation revealed Henderson’s DNA on the victim’s phones where he removed the SIM cards, the victim’s blood on Henderson’s shoe, and shoe prints from the same pair of shoes beside the victim’s body.
The range of punishment for Murder is 5 years to 99 years or life in prison. The range of punishment for Tampering with Evidence was 2 to 10 years in prison. The range of punishment for Tampering with a Corpse in this case was 2 years to 20 years in prison.
Due to a prior conviction for Sexual Assault and Aggravated Assault out of Arkansas, Henderson faced an enhanced punishment range of 15 years up to 99 years or life in prison for Murder, 2 years to 20 years in prison for Tampering with Evidence, and 5 years to 99 years or life in prison for Tampering with a Corpse.
Henderson served a 14-year sentence on the Sexual Assault and Aggravated Assault and was released in May of 2018; five months before committing the Murder.
The case was tried by Assistant District Attorney Kyle McCardle and Lacey Holloman.
The defendant was represented by Wolf & Stallings attorneys John Wolf, Andrew Stallings, and Tyler Mayo.
The trial was presided over by Judge Leah Robertson.
Copyright 2022 KOSA. All rights reserved.