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Man accused of murdering five people in New Market in 2019 has been sentenced to death

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – After being convicted of 15 counts of capital murder, a man from Huntsville has been sentenced to death.

Madison County Circuit Court Judge Chris Comer sentenced Christopher Henderson, 46, on Thursday morning.

Henderson was convicted in July of killing five people in a New Market home in 2015 before setting it on fire.

The victims have been identified as Henderson’s 9-month-pregnant wife Kristen Smallwood, unborn baby Loryn Brooke Smallwood, 8-year-old son Clayton Chambers, one-year-old nephew Eli Sokolowski and Kristen’s mother, Jean Smallwood.

Rhonda Carlson, Henderson’s first wife, whom he never divorced before marrying Kristen Smallwood, was arrested along with Henderson and charged with capital murder.

Carlson testified against him as part of a deal to avoid the death penalty. She said he was a lockpicker and bought a .22 handgun while they plotted the murders.

The jury deliberated for nearly two days before finding Henderson guilty of all counts, including capital murder, arson, capital murder of a child and capital murder in the commission of ‘another crime.

Given that the case began in 2015, before Alabama ended the judicial annulment, Comer could quash the jury’s recommendation on the death penalty and sentence Henderson to life in prison instead of the sentence. of death.