Oceanside man who fatally shot wife in front of children sentenced to life term

VISTA (CNS) – A convicted sex offender who shot his wife to death in front of her two young children in Oceanside as the family prepared to go to church on New Year's Day was sentenced today to 80 years to life in prison.

Dontaye Henderson, 29, was convicted last month of first-degree murder in the Jan. 1, 2011, death of Tamara Henderson, a 25-year-old Army reservist. The defendant was also convicted of being a felon in possession of a gun.

Henderson was on parole for a 2003 conviction for raping a former spouse when he killed Tamara, according to Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe. Jurors did not hear that evidence due to a pretrial ruling by Judge Robert Kearney.

Watanabe said during the trial that Henderson shot the victim as her 6-year-old daughter and their year-old son watched near the family Christmas tree.

A photo of the defendant was on top of the victim when she was found. A photo of the couple was placed on her groin, Watanabe said.

After the murder, the defendant fled, cutting off his GPS ankle bracelet before being captured three days later in St. Louis.

Henderson testified that the gun went off accidentally when his wife tried to wrest it from him during an argument after he threatened to shoot himself in the head.

Categories: KUSI