by: Erica Miller
MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar)- On Wednesday, Midland County District Attorney Laura Nodolf announced a 33-year-old Arkansas man was sentenced by a jury on Tuesday to 60 years in prison for Murder, Tampering with Evidence and Tampering with a Corpse.
Willie Otey Henderson was found guilty in the October 2018 shooting death of Michael Joel Rubio. In mid-October of 2018, officers with the Midland Police Department responded to the 2600 block of Midland Drive and found Rubio dead with two puncture wounds to his abdomen. Henderson later turned himself in to police.
According to a release, Henderson’s trial began on January 31. During the trial, new information about the crime was revealed by prosecutors.
Nodolf told the jury that on October 19, 2018, Henderson and several unnamed “others” went next door into Rubio’s apartment. There Rubio was shot and instantly paralyzed from the waist down. Nodolf said Henderson then stepped over his victim and ransacked the apartment. On his way out of the apartment, Henderson collected the Rubio’s phones and keys and locked the door preventing the discovery of the Robio’s body until Sunday afternoon. Henderson then moved Rubio’s truck to another apartment complex two blocks away and while walking back to his apartment disposed of the Rubio’s phones in a roadside ditch.
Rubio’s brothers discovered his body after he failed to show up for work and they were unable to reach him by phone.
Nodolf said Henderson’s DNA was found on the Rubio’s recovered phones. Additionally, Rubio’s blood was found on Henderson’s shoe, and shoe prints from the same pair of shoes were found next to Rubio’s body.
According to Nodolf, Henderson previously served a 14-year sentence after being convicted of Sexual Assault and Aggravated Assault and was released in May of 2018; five months before committing the murder.