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Putnam County man facing three murder charges in teen’s death

August 30, 2018

HENNEPIN — The man authorities say killed a Bureau County teen and dumped her body along a country road has been charged with three counts of murder.

Putnam County State’s Attorney Christina Judd-Mennie filed the charges against Richard Henderson of Standard on Thursday.

He pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Henderson, 26, is charged with killing Diamond Bradley, 16, of Spring Valley, and leaving her body along a rural Putnam County road more than 7 months ago.

Bradley was last seen Jan. 23, and reported missing the following morning. Her body, stabbed multiple times, was found Jan. 27, and Henderson was taken into custody Feb. 5.

Henderson was initially charged with concealment of a homicidal death and was being held on $1 million bond. The murder charges each carry additional and concurrent $1 million bonds.

The charges were entered during a motion hearing presided over by Judge Stephen A. Kouri and came as defense attorney Roger Bolin awaits a ruling on his motion to dismiss the concealment charges. He argues that the state has exceeded the Speedy Trial Act’s 120-day limit.

Putnam County State’s Attorney Christina Judd-Mennie has argued the past three continuances were agreed upon by both sides at previous hearings and that by doing so, the 120-day count would have stopped during those periods.

Illinois Assistant Attorney General Bill Elward said Bolin’s arguments were “specious” and a moot point because of the superseding indictments now facing Henderson.

Kouri said the Speedy Trial Act was “not to be used as a trap,” and while he agreed to recalculate the days in question, he also told Bolin to “assume you’re going to lose this motion.”

Bolin also questioned the composition of the grand jury and the competence of the evidence presented to the jury, saying the indictment was defective. Kouri denied the motion and added a supplement to court records after accepting a sworn statement from the foreman of the grand jury in regard to the number of jurors present.

Following a brief recess, both sides agreed all charges would be tried at once, and the original Oct. 1 trial date will remain in place for the time being, although a continuance agreed upon by both sides could result in a later trial date.

If they had agreed to hold two trials, the 120-day limit would have required the murder charges to be tried by the end of December.

Illinois Assistant Attorney General Mary Claire Nicholson said the state will seek an enhanced sentence for Henderson if he’s convicted of the murder charges because of the crime’s “brutal and heinous nature.”

Henderson could face life in prison with no chance of parole.

A status hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sept. 13. Kouri requested the attorneys meet with him Sept. 6 to let him know whether they anticipated a continuance. If not, this would allow time for jury notifications to be issued in time for the Oct. 1 trial.

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