Resolution, sadness following guilty plea in Roswell Publix murders

Resolution, sadness following guilty plea in Roswell Publix murders

View CaptionHide Caption
The family of Natalie Henderson reacts to the judge’s decision at the conclusion of the sentencing of Jeffrey Hazelwood on Wednesday(DAVID BARNES / DAVID.BARNES@AJC.COM)

The families of two 17-year-olds murdered behind a Roswell Publix were forced to hear details once again of the teens’ final moments. But this final time in court would be the last.

On Wednesday, Jeffrey Hazelwood pleaded guilty but mentally ill in the deaths of Natalie Henderson and Carter Davis. Hazelwood was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The conviction was what both the Henderson and Davis families had hoped for since the August morning the teens were killed. Though the overwhelming pain and sadness lingers for the victims whose lives were cut short.

“Justice and resolution for Natalie and Carter provides some relief,” Tad Henderson, Natalie’s father, said outside the Fulton County courthouse.

Family and friends of both teenagers filled the courtroom Wednesday, and the mothers of both Natalie and Carter each read emotional statements to the court as other relatives wiped away tears.

“Carter and Natalie were not supposed to leave this Earth on Aug. 1,” Michele Davis told the court.

Judge Shawn LaGrua called the case one of the most heartbreaking in her career. She commended both families for their strength through the tragedy.

“The poise, the composure of both the Henderson and Carter families is amazing,” LaGrua told the court. “This casea will have a lasting impact on many different issues and causes.

Weather and Traffic