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Henderson defense argues for speedy trial

Judge may set a trial date at May 17 hearing

HENNEPIN — Entering the courtroom under heavy security, Richard A. Henderson, the Standard man whom investigators believe stabbed and killed 16-year-old Diamond Bradley, whistled as he waited for his Thursday afternoon hearing to begin.

Henderson, 26, is charged with the Class 3 felony of concealment of a homicide death and is being held on a $1 million bond.

“It is incumbent upon the state, not the defendant, to commence trial, under my theory, by June 5,” Public Defender Roger Bolin said.

The state has 120 days in which to begin a trial, and Bolin said his client has been in custody since Feb. 5. Putnam County State’s Attorney Christina Judd-Mennie argued the last three continuances were agreed upon by both sides at previous hearings, and that by doing so, the 120-day count would have stopped during those periods.

Judge Stephen Kouri asked Bolin if he was asking him to set a trial date.

“No, your honor, we are objecting to any trial set after June 5,” Bolin said.

Kouri asked both the defense and the prosecution to submit case law decisions they wished him to review in argument of their positions.

He said he would make a ruling during a May 17 status hearing.

It is also expected Henderson will eventually face additional charges as the state’s evidence against him continues to be compiled. Depending on when the rest of the discovery evidence is obtained, new charges may be folded into one trial, or it may result in a second trial at a later date.

During the ongoing investigation, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office developed information that Henderson may have discarded a weapon at Color Point, the commercial greenhouse in rural Granville where he had been employed.

On April 11, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in a search by Tri-DENT, Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services, the Spring Valley Police Department and the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office.

The recovered weapon, a knife, is being analyzed at the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services laboratory.

Bradley, of Spring Valley, was last was seen by her family the evening of Jan. 23. She was reported missing the following morning. Her body, stabbed multiple times, was found Jan. 27 alongside 850th North Road in Putnam County.

According to Putnam County Sheriff Kevin Doyle, investigators think Henderson and Bradley met online and that Henderson picked the teen up near her home between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 24. Investigators believe Henderson then drove to the spot where her body was found and killed her after an altercation.

Henderson was arrested after being interviewed at the police station. Tips, interviews, surveillance cameras and pings from Bradley’s cellphone link him to her death, Doyle has said.

Henderson’s next hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. May 17.

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