Terance Black, a 26-year old man who was a suspect in the robbery of a marijuana shop in Denver, and Tina Black, his 51-year old mother, have been sentenced to life in prison for murdering David Henderson, the key witness to implicate Terance in the said robbery case. Apparently, the Blacks learned about Henderson’s personal information due to a clerical error and had him killed.
Henderson, a 48-year old mechanic, was hired by Tina Black to work on a car at a hotel in August 2016. In the hotel room, Henderson saw guns and drugs. He also found gloves and masks inside the car. He got scared that he could be unknowingly involved in a crime, according to an affidavit, so he took photos and turned them over to police.
The information Henderson shared to police had become a piece of evidence to the August 2016 robbery Terance Black was involved in. It led to Black’s arrest on September 23, 2016.
Less than a month later, Henderson was killed.
According to reports, Terance Black, who was then on parole, was able to obtain court records containing the key witness’ identity due to a court’s filing error. He and another gunman fired 10 shots to Henderson that killed him outside his mother’s apartment on October 12, 2016. Tina Black was the one who drove the getaway car.
Terance and Tina Black were sentenced on Thursday to life without parole on first-degree murder and murder conspiracy charges.
Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler described the decision as “bittersweet” because even though justice is served, Henderson could have been alive if not for some preventable error.
“This is the nightmare scenario, where sensitive information is accidentally sent to absolutely the wrong people,” Brauchler told The Washington Post. “You had a good man who was trying to do the right thing.”
Meanwhile, Henderson’s sister, Karen Henderson-Atkins, said that after the Blacks were sentenced for the robbery case in 2016, his brother was so worried they would come after him. At the time he was killed, she said he was trying to gather money to flee to Florida.
“He didn’t have the proper protection,” she told the Associated Press. “It’s just a shame his life got taken for trying to do the right thing.”