Robert Henderson: trial starts

Robert Henderson

Robert Henderson

The trial against Jason Lee McCormick for the 1996 murder of Robert Henderson has started.

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From the Star Adviser: “A drunken man became so enraged by an unwanted homosexual advance that he should be convicted of manslaughter rather than murder in the strangulation of a visiting mainland professor 16 years ago, a defense lawyer told a circuit judge Tuesday.

Jason Lee McCormick, who suffered sexual abuse as a young child and a range of psychiatric problems, never intended to kill Robert T. Henderson, defense lawyer Michael Green told Circuit Judge Richard Perkins at the end of a nonjury trial.

From my earlier posts: Hawaiian police have charged McCormick with second-degree murder for the July 1996 killing of Robert Henderson. The linguistics professor was a guest lecturer at the University of Hawaii when his naked and decomposing body was found in a condominium where he was staying. According to a grand jury indictment of McCormick, police believe that Henderson was strangled between July 12 and 17, 1996. He was last seen leaving a hula lesson on campus July 12, 1996.

At the time of the slaying, police said that someone wrote a message on Henderson’s buttocks suggesting that he was a child molester. A pen was jammed into a leg. Police said later that they did not find evidence to substantiate the molestation claim.

UPDATE: on Sept 11, 2013, McCormick was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.