Accused double murderer facing death, plus new charges
A York-area man charged in a Fawn Township home-invasion double homicide will face the death penalty if convicted, according to the DA's Office.
Paul Jackson Henry III also is facing new charges for allegedly fleeing from police and ramming a cruiser to avoid arrest.
He is being held in York County Prison without bail, charged with two counts of homicide, aggravated assault, burglary, robbery and related offenses for the Sept. 13 deaths of alleged heroin dealer Foday Cheeks and Danielle Taylor, 26, of the Spring Grove area, who was temporarily staying with Cheeks.
In the new case, Henry was arraigned Wednesday by District Judge Laura Manifold on charges of aggravated assault, fleeing or attempting to elude police, reckless endangerment and reckless driving. The judge set Henry's bail in the new case at $100,000, according to court records.
At 10:43 a.m. Sept. 14, state police issued a be-on-the-lookout alert for Henry and his wife, Veronique Aundrea Henry, both of whom were wanted in the double homicide.
The alleged pursuit: Seven minutes later, a state trooper spotted a vehicle matching the description of the Henrys' Nissan Altima on Route 322 at Fishing Creek Valley Road, according to charging documents. After verifying it was the Henrys through the vehicle registration, the trooper called for backup, turned on his lights and siren and tried to pull over the car, documents state
The Henrys fled westbound on Route 322, at which point another trooper drove his cruiser in front of their Nissan, police said.
But Paul Henry hit the gas and rammed the rear of the cruiser, causing it to crash, documents allege.
Troopers were then able to stop the Nissan and arrest the Henrys along Route 322 near the Red Rabbit restaurant near Duncannon, in Reed Township, Dauphin County, documents state.
Because the pursuit arose from the York County homicide investigation, troopers were given approval by chief deputy prosecutor David Sunday to file the chase charges in York County, documents state.
In the double homicide case, Henry, 40, of Canal Road Extended in East Manchester Township, is scheduled for formal arraignment Dec. 20 in York County Court, court records state.
Facing death penalty: When he's arraigned, his general homicide counts will be changed to two counts each of first- and second-degree murder, along with numerous lesser offenses, according to Kyle King, spokesman for the York County District Attorney's Office.
King confirmed prosecutors have filed their intention to seek the death penalty against Henry.
But he faces that fate alone.
Veronique Henry, 32, of Manchester Township, was found unresponsive in her York County Prison cell Sept. 15 after hanging herself, according to the York County Coroner's Office, which has ruled the death a suicide.
The background: State police say the Henrys knocked on the back door of Cheeks' 706 Brown Road home about 10 p.m. Sept. 13, and when Danielle Taylor answered the door, one of them fatally shot her in the neck.
Paul Henry then shot Cheeks, who had put up his hands and said, "Oh God," according to testimony.
According to preliminary hearing testimony from two of the victims who survived the home invasion, the Henrys were looking for Cheeks' stash of heroin. Two adult women and two teenage boys were robbed but not shot during the invasion, police have said.
At the time of his death, the 31-year-old Cheeks was free on $25,000 bail, charged with two felony counts of dealing heroin. The York County Drug Task Force raided his home May 12 and seized heroin and packaging materials, charging documents state.
Cheeks suffered eight gunshot wounds, according to state police.
Survivors robbed: Paul Henry made the two women and two teens lie face down on the floor, at which point Veronique Henry guarded them at gunpoint while Paul Henry searched the home, according to preliminary hearing testimony.
The Henrys stole the cellphones of all four surviving victims and a purse belonging to one of the women, according to testimony.
The couple told the foursome to stay on the floor for 20 minutes, then fled the home without any heroin, according to testimony.
After chasing and arresting the Henrys, troopers found the women's purse, Cheeks' wallet, three handguns, one shotgun and multiple cellphones inside the Nissan, police have said.
Defense attorney Farley Holt, who is representing Paul Henry, declined immediate comment.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.