WASHINGTON COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Washington County, TN man convicted in triple murders of three of his family members will spend the rest of his life behind bars without parole.
A jury found Daniel Henry guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of his father, mother and aunt.
Henry pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal.
District Attorney Tony Clark told News Channel 11 they could have pursued the death penalty, but decided this was the appropriate punishment.
“The death penalty was a question – was an issue. We had never ask for that. We had never filed for that. It could have been warranted in this case just given the fact that there were three victims,” said Clark. “The family, when I met with them on several occasions voiced their opinion — and while we take that into account, it is ultimately the state’s decision. So, we thought life without parole under the circumstances was warranted in this case.”
Back in October of 2015, police in News Orleans arrested Henry after a multi-state manhunt.
Friday morning, surviving members of his family were in the courtroom for the verdict.
On the family’s reaction to the verdict and sentence, Clark said, “They are very, as happy as they can be that it’s over, but of course they’re dealing with losing half their family.”
“The only thing [Henry] said was he didn’t understand, ‘Why I did it’. However, he thought that he had disappointed them most of his life and he was tired of disappointing them. That was his explanation,” said Tony Clark.
Henry was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of his father Robert Kenneth Henry, 66, his mother Melody Diane Henry, 55, and his aunt Barbara June Hammonds, 64.
Washington County authorities were alerted after receiving a 911 call in San Francisco from Henry’s alleged ex-girlfriend. She told dispatchers that Henry called her.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation tracked his phone and that led them to New Orleans. Henry apparently took a Greyhound bus from Johnson City to New Orleans. TBI alerted Louisiana State Police who then contacted the U.S. Marshal.
Louisiana authorities said they found prescription drugs in Melody Henry’s name in his possession. He allegedly told Louisiana State Police that he “was tired of seeing them disappointed in him.
According to autopsy reports, Henry’s father was shot once in the head, his mother was shot once in the face and his aunt was shot twice in the head.
After the shooting, Henry took his father’s truck to the Nolichuckey River and disposed of the gun.
He then took a bus to New Orleans.