Not guilty plea from parolee accused of killing wife - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Not guilty plea from parolee accused of killing wife in front of children

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VISTA (CNS) - A sex offender parolee accused of shooting his wife in front of their two children as they prepared to go to church on New Year's Day pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder and other charges.

Dontaye Henderson, 28, fled from his Oceanside apartment after the shooting and was arrested Jan. 4 in St. Louis, said Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe.

Vista Superior Court Judge Marshall Hockett, calling the defendant a danger to the community and a flight risk, set Henderson's bail at $10 million.

Watanabe told the judge that Henderson was on parole for a 2003 conviction for raping a former wife when he shot and killed his current spouse, Tamara.

"She was aware of his past. She was aware he wore a GPS ankle bracelet, and she knew that he had a prior conviction for spousal rape," the prosecutor told reporters outside court.

The 25-year-old victim -- who was an Army reservist -- had a 6-year-old daughter and the couple had a 16-month-old son together, the prosecutor said.

The 6-year-old saw her mother get shot in the chest, Watanabe told the judge.

"She said, `Daddy shot mommy, and now she's dead,"' the prosecutor said.

Watanabe said Henderson called 911 after the shooting, telling dispatchers that his wife had an asthma attack and needed help.

When authorities arrived, they found the victim on the bed, with a photo of the defendant face-down on her chest and a photo on the couple face-down on her groin area, the prosecutor said.

Authorities found a trash bag with holes cut out for the head and arms that they think Henderson might have worn to keep from getting blood on him, the prosecutor said.

Henderson was gone, but the two children were sitting by the family's Christmas tree when authorities arrived, Watanabe said.

He said the 6-year-old told police the defendant "ran away because he didn't want to go to jail."

The Global Positioning System device that Henderson was wearing as part of his parole was found in an Oceanside hotel room, Watanabe said.

The defendant forced a female co-worker, Consuelo Ramirez, to drive him to El Centro with her child before letting her go, he alleged.

Authorities determined that Henderson was on a bus to Lexington, Ky., which was interecepted in St. Louis, Watanabe said.

Henderson was carrying a camera bag containing a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun, the prosecutor said.

"He told the agents that he had shot his wife," Watanabe told the judge.

The prosecutor said Tamara Henderson told her mother the day before that she thought her husband would kill her in her sleep.

In addition to murder, Henderson is charged with being a felon in possession of a handgun, two misdemeanor counts of child endangerment and one count of felony kidnapping. He faces a maximum of 96 years to life in prison if convicted.

Hockett scheduled a readiness conference for Feb. 3 and a preliminary hearing for Feb. 8.

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