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Local

Delivery of DNA evidence might result in murder charge

Prosecutor says additional charge likely before Aug. 30

HENNEPIN — Public defender Roger Bolin announced during a Putnam County Court hearing Thursday that suspect Richard A. Henderson is partially waiving his right to a speedy trial regarding the charges of concealment of a homicidal death.

Henderson, 26, is charged with the Class 3 felony and is being held on a $1 million bond. He’s the Standard man whom investigators believe killed 16-year-old Diamond Bradley, of Spring Valley, 6 months ago and left her body along a rural Putnam County road.

Bolin stipulated the agreement was only for the period of Aug. 6 to Oct. 1, when Henderson’s trial is scheduled to begin. He’s previously argued the state has exceeded the 120-day limit of the Speedy Trial Act, and his motion to dismiss the charges will be decided by Judge Stephen A. Kouri at a hearing at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 30.

Bolin has previously stated his client has been in custody since Feb. 5. Putnam County State’s Attorney Christina Judd-Mennie has argued the past 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.

Following the hearing, however, Judd-Mennie reported the state has received the DNA results from several items gathered and tested after the first round of crime scene investigation. Judd-Mennie said the results still need to be examined, but added that if they show what she’s expecting, new charges will likely be filed prior to Aug. 30.

According to Judd-Mennie, the motion for a dismissal of charges has caused understandable concern within the community.

“He’s not walking out of the jail,” Mennie said.

A murder charge against Henderson would result in a second trial at a later date unless both sides agree to the delays it would cause, and both sides have previously indicated they would rather not go through a second trial.

Bolin said he had some additional concerns about the composition and other aspects of the grand jury, and those issues will also be ruled on during the Aug. 30 hearing.

During the ongoing investigation, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office developed information that Henderson might 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, and both sides should continue to receive new evidence until the trial.

“This case is a priority for the crime lab,” Judd-Mennie said.

Bradley was last was seen on Jan. 23, and she was reported missing the following morning. Her body, stabbed multiple times, was found Jan. 27.

According to Putnam County Sheriff Kevin Doyle, investigators think Henderson and Bradley met online and that Henderson picked the teen up near her Spring Valley 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.

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.

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