DNA evidence prompts new trial in murder of Cheryl Ashton Hender - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

DNA evidence prompts new trial in murder of Cheryl Ashton Henderson

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Cheryl Ashton Henderson Cheryl Ashton Henderson

Twenty-six years ago last month Cheryl Ashton Henderson was found stabbed to death on a southeast D.C. street.

Her estranged husband was found guilty of the crime but the conviction was overturned on appeal.

Michael Henderson remained free for the better part of two decades before prosecutors said newly tested DNA evidence links him to the crime. Now he's facing a second trial.

That’s welcome news for the victims’ family who've been waiting for this day.

On a recent Sunday at a home in Upper Marlboro, the extended family of Cheryl Ashton Henderson got together to remember their sister, mother, daughter, niece and cousin.

There were poems. "That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through, God picked me up and hugged me and said I welcome you".

And there were prayers. "All day and all night, the angles, they keep watching over us".

And with Cheryl’s image on every shirt, the family released to the heavens the balloons they were holding.

"She was a true angel to our family and we just want justice to be served for her".

Cheryl Ashton Henderson was just 21-years-old when a little girl on her way to bible study found the young mothers mutilated body amongst some weeds in the 3000 block of Q Street southeast in June of 1987.

Karen Ashton says her sister was in an abusive relationship and had left Michael Henderson and moved to the District in the weeks before she was killed.

"We know we have a long ways to go before the trial and everything that but we feel joy, we feel that our prayers have been answered because we have all been hopeful that one day something would come about that would bring us justice."

At the gathering on the 23rd of June, Cheryl’s son, who was five at the time, had a song for his mom. "Today is gonna be the day that they are gonna give it back to you......."

Michael Henderson found a job, remarried and moved to Georgia where he was living before cold case prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s office presented new evidence to a grand jury.

The 52-year-old is not being held and will remain free but under supervision until trial.

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