Evaluation reports on triple murder defendant still not finished

Becky Campbell • Updated Sep 22, 2016 at 4:54 PM

A Jonesborough man awaiting trial in three shooting deaths was in court Thursday for an update on how the case is progressing.

Daniel Lee Henry, 39, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the Oct. 3, 2015, shootings of his father, mother and aunt.

Robert Kenneth Henry, 66, Melody Diane Henry, 55, and Barbara June Hammonds, 64, were found dead in their beds at 123 Skyline Road, Jonesborough. Hammonds moved from Virginia several years before the killings to live with her brother and sister-in-law after her husband died. Daniel Henry also was living with his parents at the time.

According to information revealed during a preliminary hearing in January, Daniel Henry killed the three because he was tired of seeing their disappointment in him in their eyes.

After the shootings, Daniel Henry fled the state and was found within a day in New Orleans. He agreed to talk to an investigator there and gave a statement about what he’d done. In that interview, Henry told a Louisiana state trooper that he used a Kel-Tec pistol to shoot his father and mother in the head while they were asleep, then his aunt, who was asleep in another bedroom.

After the shootings, the officer said Henry told him he got into the safe in his parents bedroom. While going through the safe, Henry heard his aunt “gurgling,” so he went into her bedroom and shot her again.

Defense attorney Bill Francisco asked the court months ago to approve a mental evaluation for Henry. That motion was granted, and the evaluation is complete. But Francisco said he’s still waiting for the evaluation report before he can proceed further.

“There are still expert services being rendered in this case,” Francisco told Judge Lisa Rice. Francisco said he’s been told it could take an additional 60-90 days before he receives the final reports from Henry’s evaluations.

Rice reset the case until Dec. 9 for a plea deadline.







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