VISTA (CNS) - A paroled rapist who shot his wife to death in front of her two young children in Oceanside as the family prepared to go to church was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder.
After a day of deliberations, a jury found Dontaye Henderson guilty in the Jan. 1, 2011, death of his wife.
Henderson, 29, was also convicted of being a felon in possession of a gun. He faces up to 82 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 23 by Superior Court Judge Robert Kearney.
Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe said in his opening statement that Henderson shot his wife, Tamara Henderson, as her 6-year-old daughter and their 1-year-old son watched, then called 911 but fled before authorities arrived. He was captured three days later in St. Louis.
The two children were sitting by the family's Christmas tree when authorities arrived at their home.
Henderson testified that the gun went off accidentally when his wife tried to wrest it from him after he threatened to shoot himself in the head.
But Watanabe argued that the shooting was intentional.
At the time of the shooting, the defendant was on parole for a 2003 conviction for raping his former spouse.
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