A DeKalb County man told investigators his 15-year-old sister was taking too long in the bathroom. So he stabbed her 47 times, killing her in the family’s Dunwoody apartment in 2018, police said.
On Friday, a jury convicted Gavin Henderson of murder, aggravated assault, cruelty to children and possession of a knife during the commission of a felony in the death of Keaira Henderson. Gavin Henderson, 30, was then sentenced to life in prison without parole, plus an additional 45 years, according to the DeKalb District Attorney.
On June 18, 2018, Dunwoody investigators were called to the Lacota Apartment on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard after a neighbor reported hearing a female scream for help, along with loud banging on doors. When officers arrived, Keaira was dead in the breezeway between apartments.
At a hearing weeks after the teen’s death, Detective Jesus Maldonado said Gavin Henderson said his sister was taking too long in the bathroom. He knocked on the bathroom door and went in and Keaira kicked the door shut, according to prosecutors.
Gavin Henderson opened the door again and began punching his sister, who ran out of the apartment. He then retrieved a 10-inch hunting knife from under his bedroom pillow and stabbed Keaira repeatedly, investigators said. Keaira fought back, but the stabbings continued. Henderson later said he blacked out until his 11-year-old sister called his name.
After the stabbings, Henderson left the complex and ran to a nearby store, where he told the clerk to call 911.
“He had a knife, a big knife, a big size. He put it on the counter,” Shehab Faisal, then a store employee, told Channel 2 Action News. “He just (asked) me, ‘Can you call the cops?’ I said, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘There’s been an accident.’ He (was) showing me blood on his hands and T-shirt.”
The younger sister who witnessed the attack called her mother, who also called 911, investigators said. Henderson was arrested the same day and booked into the DeKalb jail, where he has been held since.
An autopsy later determined Keaira had 47 stab wounds throughout her body from front to back, along with wounds on her hands and fingers from attempting to fight off her brother, the DA’s office said.
An Alpharetta High School student, Keaira wanted to be a lawyer, her family said after her death. Friends gathered on the school’s football field to remember the teenager and released balloons in her memory.
About the Author
Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com