|Texarkana murder trial moved to Hopkins County
Some 300 called for jury duty
|Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor|
Oct. 28, 2005 -- Three hundred Hopkins County residents have been called for possible jury duty in the trial of Richard Markeil “Lucky” Henson, the second suspect in the murder of three Outback Steakhouse murders in Texarkana two years ago.
The change of venue was ordered by Fifth District Judge Ralph Burgess in early August.
Jury selection is set to begin on Monday, Nov. 14, in the district courtroom in Hopkins County Courthouse before Judge Burgess.
If convicted of capital murder, Henson would be automatically sentenced to life in prison.
Prosecutors had sought the death penalty in the case against co-defendant Stephon Lavelle Walter in a trial that was moved from Bowie County to Collin County earlier this year. In that trial, the jury turned down the death penalty in favor of a life sentence.
Texarkana residents were shocked when the bodies of three people, Matthew Hines, Rebecca Shifflett and Crystal Willis, were found in the office of the restaurant on Sept. 1, 2003. A small amount of cash had been taken from that office.
Prosecutors, according to reports in the Texarkana Gazette, said “Walter was the supposed trigger man with Henson as his accomplice. Henson’s brother, Roderick, was the one to tip off police in hopes of receiving a reward for the information that led to the arrests of his brother and Walter.”
The Bowie County attorney, as well as defense attorneys Craig Henry and Michael Jones, were unable to comment on the case due to a gag order imposed by Judge Burgess.