Convicted Killer Dontaye Henderson Gets 80 Years to Life

Photo of Dontaye Henderson by Nick Morris
  • Photo of Dontaye Henderson by Nick Morris

The mother of murdered 25-year-old Tamara Henderson told the killer, “I forgive you for killing my daughter and I pray for you.... I know that hating you would only eat me up inside.”

When convicted killer Dontaye Henderson got his chance to speak, he said, “First off, I would like to ask for another trial to be set,” and he repeated his claim that the shot to his wife’s chest “was a accident.”

At the sentencing hearing in the Vista courthouse on Thursday, February 23, the killer said that he wanted to communicate to members of the media and that there were “facts not disclosed.” Henderson claimed the prosecutor had lied about him. It seemed an afterthought when he mentioned, “I deeply apologize” to the victim’s family.

Superior court judge Robert Kearney, who heard the trial last month, appeared unmoved and found “no basis for a new trial at this time” and continued with sentencing.

The judge spent some minutes adding up the years in prison; the count was complicated because Henderson had a “strike prior” and “prison prior” after being convicted of raping his first wife. The judge also noted that Henderson was on parole at the time and that he had used a gun when he shot Tamara.

After multiple doubling of sentences and enhancements were totaled, Judge Kearney declared Henderson should spend 80 years to life in prison.

After the hearing in the court hallway, Elsie Billups, the mother of Tamara, said she was adopting her two young grandchildren that had witnessed their mother’s death, and she planned to move her family back to Louisiana.

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Not reported by Eva is that the defense attorney complained that 80-to-life was going to be equivalent to life without parole for this dude. Doh! That's the idea, counselor. Figure it out. (He knows that, he's doin' his usual defense attorney, feel-sorry-for-my-dirtbag-client stuff. That's what they are paid to do.)

But for these jailbird types, there are always features and/or conditions that were not revealed, and justice was not done.

He be shinin' 'em on, dude.

It IS too bad that the guy probably got a bad roll of the dice as a kid, but so have a lot of other kids who resisted persisting to be baby-boys-old-enough-to-be-men and turned into real men instead. It's just the way the world turns . . .

The tragic train-wrecks have to suffer, and the rest of us have to pay and pay and pay to keep them from murdering again. And men who murder women should have a special place in the prison-yard . . .

Still, compare this guy to Craig Peyer, sentence by sentence and crime to crime. Something stinks in the injustice system, but it isn't putting killers away . . . maybe not putting them away far enough?

It's not that this sentence was too harsh, it's that when those parts of the "justice" system get the gavel, it speaks more softly--and the justice system's credibility turns another notch toward contempt.

And my hard dollars will go towards supporting him for the rest of his days.

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