HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The jury selection process in Christopher Henderson’s capital murder case took eight days, but it finally wrapped up late Wednesday afternoon. Opening statements will begin Thursday morning for the jury trial.
12 jurors and 6 alternates were selected. This is the most alternate jurors the prosecution and defense attorneys have ever had in a case. The state only requires two.
This case presents a few unique challenges for jurors. First, how long this trial could potentially take, which could be several more days.
This is a capital case. Which means if Christopher Henderson is found guilty the death penalty will be on the table.
Then there’s also the graphic nature of this case. Henderson is accused of killing his 9-months pregnant wife, the unborn baby, two other children, and his mother-in-law at a home in New Market. After that, its alleged he and his first wife lit the house on fire.
“It’s horrific what happened there, and some people are just not going to be able to handle it. And we’re trying our best to sift through that. And find the folks who can actually sit on this case and still be fair while viewing something worse, the worse things they will ever see in their lives,” said Time Gann, Madison County lead trial attorney.
Wednesday afternoon, individual jurors were questioned by the prosecution and defense. Many of the questions centered around their views on the death penalty.
This case hasn’t only created challenges for jurors. The alleged crime occurred back in 2015. Since then obstacles have come about that have prevented the case from going to trial sooner.
“I will tell you that we were supposed to try this case in June 2020, but COVID came in and we were not allowed to have jury trials. It could’ve been a year earlier, but that still would’ve been a long time. The reason is the volume of the material. It’s just incredible how much stuff there is to get through both by the state and by us,” said Bruce Gardner, Henderson’s defense attorney.