Officials: Escaped prisoner abducts, kills assistant warden's teen stepdaughter

Amanda Carney 


BATON ROUGE, La. -- A prisoner abducted and killed an assistant warden's stepdaughter after he escaped from a Louisiana prison, authorities said Friday. The inmate was later found dead after a standoff with police.

Deltra Henderson, 39, walked away from his prison assignment at David Wade Correctional Center on Thursday afternoon, stole a car and kidnapped 19-year-old Amanda Carney, the Claiborne Parish Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Carney lived at a home on prison property with her parents, reports CBS affiliate KSLA. The station reports Henderson was on work assignment on the grounds when the escape happened.

The teenager's body was found in a wooded area near the prison where Henderson crashed the car, the sheriff's office said. Sheriff Ken Bailey said during a telephone interview that investigators believe Henderson stabbed Carney to death, but they're awaiting autopsy results.

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The sheriff's office says Henderson then made contact with another resident in the area and stole another vehicle before crashing it as well, KSLA reports. He then entered a nearby home on prison property and found a gun, authorities said. He barricaded himself inside after a gunfight with prison guards. Police found his body inside the home after the standoff ended.

Investigators suspect Henderson was fatally wounded while he traded gunfire with prison guards, according to the sheriff.

"Authorities worked to capture Henderson peacefully, but he fired shots at officers and they returned fire," read a statement released by police late Thursday to the station.

Carney was enrolling at Southern Arkansas University in the fall to study nursing, the sheriff said.

"Everybody knows everybody (here)," the sheriff said. "It's just tragic."

The corrections department is offering grief counseling to staff members and inmates at the prison in Homer, which is in north Louisiana and can house up to 1,244 inmates.

Corrections Secretary James LeBlanc said it was a "dark day" for the state's prison system.

"Our hearts hurt today as we grieve, and mourn the loss of one of our own," LeBlanc said in a statement.


Deltra Henderson


Carney graduated in May from Summerfield High School, the station reports. The principal there, Shane Lee, told the station "there's no words to express the sorrow in our hearts today."

Lee said the community lost "a young lady that we cherish. A lady that excelled in academics, athletics, and was a true role model to fellow classmates."

Henderson had been an inmate at the prison since June 2001. He arrived there about a month after he began serving a 30-year prison sentence for convictions on charges of cocaine distribution, attempted armed robbery and aggravated burglary.

Henderson had a potential release date of March 28, 2025, the corrections department said.

The News-Star reported that Henderson pleaded guilty to a 1999 armed robbery at a Farmerville home where a 14-year-old girl and her mother were seriously wounded by gunfire during the robbery.

In 2015, Henderson petitioned a judge for a reduced sentence, expressing remorse and highlighting his status as a first offender, the newspaper reported.

In his petition, Henderson wrote that he had completed programs in prison "to become a better person" and said he had been a "young man, running around with the wrong crowd" at the time of his offenses.