Victim stabbed nearly 50 times in vicious attack stemming from argument over bathroom
A Dunwoody man accused of stabbing to death his teen half sister was convicted of murder by jury trial, DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announced today (July 13).
Jurors returned guilty verdicts late Friday against Gavin Henderson, 30, on charges of Murder (three counts), Aggravated Assault, Cruelty to Children (two counts), and Possession of a Knife During the Commission of a Felony in connection with the stabbing death of Keaira Henderson, 15.
The fatal incident occurred on June 18, 2018 at the Lacota Apartments on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in the Dunwoody city limits. Police responded to a 911 call from a neighbor who reported hearing loud banging on doors and female screams for help. When officers arrived, they found the victim’s lifeless and bloodied body in the breezeway between apartments. An autopsy report later revealed the victim sustained a total of 47 stab wounds throughout her body from front to back, including multiple defensive wounds on her hands and fingers from attempting to fight off her attacker.
According to Henderson’s statement to police, he became irritated with the victim taking too long in the bathroom. He knocked on the door, and then entered. The victim kicked the door shut, causing the defendant to drop the items in his hand. Henderson opened the door again and began punching the victim. She escaped and ran into the breezeway. Henderson then retrieved a 10-inch hunting knife from under his bedroom pillow. He exited the apartment, found the victim, stabbed her repeatedly, and then allegedly blacked out until he heard his 11-year-old sister call his name. Defendant Henderson continued to stab the victim several more times before running to a nearby dollar store. He ordered the clerk to call 911 and then placed the weapon on the counter and later surrendered to police upon arrival.
Meantime, the 11-year-old girl who witnessed her brother’s attack on their sister, called her mother, who in turn dialed 911 for help as she drove home to the horrific scene.
Following his conviction, Henderson was immediately sentenced to a term of life in prison without parole, plus 45 years, by DeKalb County Superior Court Judge LaTisha Dear Jackson, who presided over the trial.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney John Caldwell, assigned to the Sexual Exploitation & Crimes Against Children (SECAC) Unit, with assistance from Senior Assistant District Attorney Tabitha Pazmino, DA Investigator Erin Gibbs, and Victim Advocate Jennifer Thompson. Detective Jesus Maldonado, formerly of the Dunwoody Police Department, led the initial investigation.