Alabama man sentenced to death for killing wife and family

Oct 14, 2021, 9:07 AM | Updated: 12:05 pm

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A man convicted of killing his estranged wife, her unborn child and three other people six years ago in north Alabama was sentenced to death Thursday after being convicted of multiple counts of capital murder.

The sentence by Madison County Circuit Judge Chris Comer followed a jury’s 11-1 vote to recommend death for Christopher Henderson, 46, who also could have been sentenced to life without parole, news outlets reported.

The judge had the choice because Henderson was charged before lawmakers took away the option for judges to override the sentencing recommendation of jurors in capital cases.

A jury in July convicted Henderson in the shooting and stabbing deaths of wife Kristin Smallwood; her unborn daughter; her 8-year-old son Clayton Chambers; her 1-year-old nephew Eli Sokolowski; and her mother, Carol Jean Smallwood.

Kristin Smallwood’s sister, Kelly Smallwood Sokolowski, told the judge about the loss of her sister and son, Eli.

“My daddy passed away in September of last year and I had a dream and my daddy was holding Eli in that dream. I know that I will see them again,” said Sokolowski.

Kristin Henderson’s brother, Keith Smallwood, said the victims were good people.

“These were people that were happy to be alive and part of a strong family that we all loved each other, so it’s been hard. But … we’ve been resolute because we know where they are and we know they’re smiling,” said Smallwood.

Their bodies were found in a house that had been burned in August 2015 less than a week after Kristen Smallwood filed for a court order to keep Henderson away from the residence. Henderson had married another woman, Rhonda Carlson, without divorcing Smallwood.

Carlson admitted to helping plan the killings but denied participating in the slayings. She avoided a potential death penalty in a deal with prosecutors and provided testimony that helped lead to Henderson’s conviction.

Speaking in court, Christopher Henderson addressed the victims’ relatives and his own.

“I’d like to give my deepest apologies to the family,” Henderson stated. “This is an event that should’ve never happened. I’d also like to apologize to my mom and my daughter.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A man holds an Argentinian flag prior to the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between the Nether...
Associated Press

Soccer writer Grant Wahl dies at World Cup match in Qatar

LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — Grant Wahl, one of the most well-known soccer writers in the United States, died early Saturday while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands. U.S. media seated near him said Wahl fell back in his seat in the media tribune at Lusail Iconic Stadium during extra time and […]
20 hours ago
FILE - Oranges rot on the ground on Oct. 12, 2022, at Roy Petteway's Citrus and Cattle Farm after t...
Associated Press

USDA: Florida orange crop down 36% after twin hurricanes

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Production of oranges in Florida this season is forecast to be down 36% from earlier estimates, in part a reflection of twin hurricanes that battered growing regions, according to U.S. Agriculture Department figures released Friday. The latest forecast calls for about 18 million boxes of oranges to be produced in […]
20 hours ago
FILE - A JetBlue Airbus A320 taxis to a gate on Oct. 26, 2016, after landing, as an American Airlin...
Associated Press

American, JetBlue expand deal that US is trying to kill

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines and JetBlue Airways are pushing ahead with an expansion of their partnership in the Northeast, even as a federal judge considers the government’s attempt to kill the deal. The airlines said Friday that American will add six new routes from New York City while dropping one. JetBlue will […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Uber rider fatally stabs New Orleans driver, authorities say

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A New Orleans Police Department employee who was moonlighting as an Uber driver was stabbed to death by a passenger in what a sheriff said was a random act of deadly violence. Yolanda Dillion, 54, was a fiscal analyst with the police department, New Orleans police chief Shaun Ferguson said Friday. […]
20 hours ago
FILE - People wait in front of a pharmacy to get a COVID-19 test in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 9, ...
Associated Press

France to make condoms free for anyone under 25, Macron says

PARIS (AP) — France will make condoms free in pharmacies for anyone up to age 25 in the new year, President Emmanuel Macron announced Friday. The move comes as the government says sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise among young people, and as this year’s exceptional inflation is cutting especially deeply into the budgets […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Connecticut’s first retail cannabis sales to begin Jan. 10

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s first retail recreational cannabis sales will begin as soon as Jan. 10, state regulators announced Friday, with about half of the state’s medical marijuana operators expanding their businesses to include the new market for all adults 21 and over. As many as 40 more retailers, along with dozens of other […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Alabama man sentenced to death for killing wife and family