Today's Austin American-Statesman reports, "No death penalty in Henderson retrial, DA says," by Chuck Lindell.
Travis County prosecutors will not seek the death penalty when Cathy Lynn Henderson is retried for the 1994 death of an infant she was baby-sitting.
Henderson, who was once two days from execution for the death of 3-month-old Brandon Baugh, will be tried for capital murder and faces a potential sentence of life in prison, District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said Monday.
“I just think it’s best considering the evidence we have,” Lehmberg said. “Considering what the jury will be hearing, I think that’s the wisest decision.”
Henderson, now 56, claims Brandon died after slipping from her arms and falling about 4 feet to the tile-on-concrete floor of her kitchen. She said she panicked and buried the boy’s body in a Bell County field before fleeing Texas.
At her trial a year later, then-medical examiner Roberto Bayardo testified that it was “impossible” to attribute the boy’s extensive head injury to an accidental fall, saying it resembled a plunge from higher than two stories. The only explanation, he said, was a deliberate and forceful blow struck by Henderson.
But Bayardo recanted his testimony in 2007, providing defense lawyers with a sworn affidavit saying that advances in the understanding of pediatric head injuries found that relatively short falls onto a hard surface could produce injuries similar to those he discovered during Brandon’s 1994 autopsy.
Bayardo concluded that he could not determine if the boy’s injuries were the result of “an intentional act or an accidental fall.”
Earlier coverage of Cathy Lynn Henderson's case begins at the link.
If the case sounds familiar, that's because the central facts are similar to the case of Robert Avila.