Henderson’s 25-year-old cousin, Jarrod Emerson, was arrested after police said ballistics tests conducted by the state Crime Lab revealed the weapon Emerson fired Sunday at an off-campus party matched the bullet recovered from Henderson’s body.
Police interviews have revealed Henderson,19, of Atlanta was reportedly in a physical altercation at the swimming pool at Palisades Apartments, 1400 Valley St., with several JSU football players.
Police said Emerson told them Henderson called him and asked him to come over because he had been assaulted.
According to police, Emerson met with Henderson at U.S. 80 and Lynch Street.
Police said Emerson told them he and Henderson went back to the apartment complex to confront the people responsible for assaulting Henderson.
Emerson confronted several people there and pulled out his weapon, firing several shots, police said.
The crowd scattered, according to police, and Henderson was shot in the face during this time.
Under the Mississippi murder statute, “you have to have the intent to kill,” said Aaron Condon, professor emeritus at the University of Mississippi School of Law.
“If there’s not a specific intent, but there’s a reckless disregard for life that lets you commit an act that to a reasonable person would be certain to kill somebody, you can be convicted of murder.”
But the jury also might want to opt for a lesser charge of manslaughter, he said.
“It’s really hard to take those statutes and make hard and fast sense out of what is premeditated murder, unpremeditated murder and manslaughter. The language gets soupy.”
Despite the development, at least one member of Henderson’s family continues to blame those who fought with him.
Emerson might have been the one that pulled the trigger, but if “the football players hadn’t been fussing and fighting with him (Henderson), this never would have happened,” said his paternal grandmother, Alma Henderson of Greenwood.