Two arrested in Madison County fire deaths now face additional capital murder counts

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - The two people charged in the fire deaths last week on St. Clair Lane in northeast Madison County now face additional capital murder counts.

Christopher Henderson is now charged with six counts of capital murder, and Rhonda Carlson is charged with five counts.

The victims were Jean Smallwood, 67, Kristen Henderson, 35, as well as her unborn child, Clayton Chambers, 8, and Eli Sokolowski, 1.  The additional counts include a charge for the unborn baby.

Rhonda Carlson (L) & Christopher Matthew Henderson (R) (Photos: Madison County Sheriff's Office)

Rhonda Carlson (L) & Christopher Matthew Henderson (R) (Photos: Madison County Sheriff's Office)

Christopher Henderson was married to Kristen Henderson, as well as his co-defendant, Rhonda Carlson.

The autopsy results have not been released on the victims yet, and investigators are keeping tight-lipped in order to protect the case.  The Madison County Sheriff's Office and Alabama State Fire Marshal's office processed the fire scene to determine cause and origin. They determined the murder was committed during an arson.

As the investigation has developed, the Madison County District Attorney’s Office has leveled the following charges against Christopher Henderson:

1. Capital Murder during a Burglary in the first or second degree, with the victim being Jean Smallwood.
2. Capital Murder where two or more people are murdered by the defendant, with the victims being: Jean Smallwood, Kristin Henderson (with unborn infant), Clayton Chambers, and Eli Sokolowski.
3. Capital Murder where a court has issued a Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order, with the victim being Kristin Henderson.
4. Capital Murder for a victim that is less than fourteen years of age, with the victim being Clayton Chambers.
5. Capital Murder for a victim that is less than fourteen years of age, with the victim being Eli Sokolowski.
6. Capital Murder for a victim that is less than fourteen years of age, with the victim being the unborn infant of Kristen Henderson.

The following charges have been added against Rhonda Carlson:

1. Capital Murder during a Burglary in the first or second degree, with the victim being Jean Smallwood.
2. Capital Murder where two or more people are murdered by the defendant, with the victims being: Jean Smallwood, Kristin Henderson (unborn infant), Clayton Chambers, and Eli Sokolowski.
3. Capital Murder for a victim that is less than fourteen years of age, with the victim being Clayton Chambers.
4. Capital Murder for a victim that is less than fourteen years of age, with the victim being Eli Sokolowski.
5. Capital Murder for a victim that is less than fourteen years of age, with the victim being the unborn infant of Kristen Henderson.

The Sheriff's Office says the investigation remains active, and no further details will be released.

Funerals for the victims will be held Saturday, August 22 at Jackson Way Baptist Church.