Prosecutor Explains Trying Both Halloween Murder Suspects Together

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Leaves coat the steps of the Madison County Courthouse for the second time since someone shot and killed Chris Collier.

Prosecutors say on Halloween 2011 two men approached the Showers Center in Huntsville, opening fire with an AK-47 and an automatic pistol, hitting two, killing one.

Last week, prosecutors convinced a jury those two men were Henry Varise and Sheldon Henry.

But in an unusual twist, the pair faced charges together, although only one of them fired the fatal shot.

Prosecuting Attorney Bob Becher says, “They both had no care about human life, both of them emptying their guns into a crowd of about twenty or thirty people.”

Becher say the case reinforced a harsh reality.

Even as the leaves outside the courthouse turn the color of blood, some things never change.

Kids fight.

But now they’re armed.

Becher points out, “When you’re out there and emotions run high, people start shooting and don’t really think about what’s going to happen a lot of times.  And then people are dead, and all kinds of lives are ruined.”

That’s why Becher prosecuted this pair together, because together, they threw caution to the cool fall wind, and opened fire, spilling blood.

In the eyes of the court, it doesn’t matter who hit what.

Every year, the leaves outside the courthouse turn color, but here, they aren’t the only ones on fire.

Becher says, “If you do something for 26 or 27 years, you’d think, ‘Ok, well, I’m getting tired of it’ or ‘It’s not as important to me anymore.’  But then a case like this comes along, and you know this is what you have to do.”

Because it doesn’t matter how many times the season changes, Becher sticks by the case.

He says, “Somebody has to care for Chris Collier.”

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