ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) – After 3 years, Buncombe County District Attorney, Todd Williams, said a teen pleaded guilty to the charge of Second Degree Murder in the death of his sister on Tuesday in Buncombe County Superior Court.
Williams said 17-year-old Clauon de Henderson, II, was a juvenile aged 14 at the time of the offense when he was initially charged with First Degree Murder of his sister, Kayla Dezaray Hensley.
The District Attorney said the initial call to law enforcement was made around 10:30 p.m., on Saturday, November 11, 2017. Deputies responding to the call found Hensley’s body near a dumpster at the bottom of Brinwood Drive with severe lacerations to the neck.
Williams said the investigation showed that Kayla Hensley was killed inside of her family’s home.
The DA said 14-year-old Henderson was interviewed but a defense-initiated forensic psychiatric evaluation questioned whether Henderson possessed the specific intent to premeditate and deliberate before the murder due to his age, immaturity, and diagnostic factors.
Williams said the charge of First Degree Murder requires the State to prove the element of specific intent to commit the crime of First Degree Murder with premeditation and deliberation beyond a reasonable doubt. Second Degree Murder does not require proof of premeditation and deliberation.
In North Carolina, a juvenile convicted of First Degree Murder may be released on parole after serving 25 years imprisonment.
The Court credited Defendant 1,032 days time-served pre-trial at the time of plea.
“My heart goes out to Kayla’s mother Susan Maltry who has showed great emotional strength and grace in working with both investigators, court personnel, and my office throughout this unspeakable tragedy. I wish her peace and healing,” District Attorney Todd Williams said.
Williams said Superior Court Judge Alan Z. Thornburg sentenced Claude Henderson to serve 192-243 months in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections.
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