York County releases settlement amount with estate of accused double murderer who killed self in prison

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
York County Prison in Springettsbury Township Monday, August, 24, 2020. Bill Kalina photo

York County has settled a lawsuit with the estate of a woman who killed herself in York County Prison after being charged in a double murder.

Veronique Aundrea Henry, 32, of East Manchester Township, hanged herself with a prison bedsheet on Sept. 15, 2016 — two days after the murders and one day after she and husband Paul Jackson Henry III were captured in Dauphin County following a police chase.

Paul Henry was later convicted of the murders of heroin dealer Foday Cheeks, 31, and Danielle Taylor, a 26-year-old Spring Grove woman who had just moved into Cheeks' Fawn Township home.

York attorney Rich Reilly, as administrator of Veronique Henry's estate, sued York County, former warden Mary Sabol, a number of corrections officers and PrimeCare Medical — a private company that provides the prison's medical services — in Harrisburg's federal court. Also named in the wrongful-death lawsuit were PrimeCare employees.

"As a lawyer having a role in this matter and serving as administrator of the estate, I am not able to comment," Reilly said Friday evening. "As a member of this community, my heart goes out to all the victims of these tragedies and I pray for healing, and if possible forgiveness."

The lawsuit alleged no one put Veronique Henry on suicide watch despite the fact that at least one corrections officer believed she was going to try to kill herself and that she'd previously made statements in the prison about killing herself. Prison and medical workers knew she had addiction issues, had just suffered a head wound in a car crash and was facing a life sentence, according to the suit.

Veronique Henry
(Photo courtesy of Facebook)

Not qualified? The lawsuit also alleged that the PrimeCare employee who conducted a mental-health assessment of Veronique Henry wasn't qualified to do so.

On April 7, Reilly signed a settlement agreement with York County on behalf of the county and its employees in which the county will pay Veronique Henry's estate $5,000. The agreement was provided to The York Dispatch by York County on Friday afternoon.

The agreement makes no mention of PrimeCare Medical and what settlement it might have reached with the estate.

According to the York County settlement agreement, the county and its employees would be "forever discharge(d)" from future court actions for "the payment of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) and other good and valuable consideration."

State police said Foday Cheeks, 31, and Danielle Taylor, 26, were fatally shot inside 706 Brown Road in Fawn Township on Sept. 13, 2016.
(Photo by John Joyce)

Attorneys representing Reilly successfully filed motions to have the settlement or settlements sealed. One of them declined comment on Friday.

On March 23, U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson sealed a petition for court approval of the settlement and distribution of proceeds of wrongful death and survivor action claims, according to court records. On Monday, April 5, Carlson approved an amended request for settlement and distribution of proceeds, records state.

Case is closed: The York Dispatch is trying to determine the settlement amount between Veronique Henry's estate and PrimeCare Medical, assuming there is one.

The case has been closed, according to federal court records.

Barring a successful appeal, Paul Henry, 44, will spend the rest of his life in state prison for the murders of Taylor and Cheeks. A jury sentenced him to death, but a procedural error caused that sentence to be thrown out.

Convicted double murderer Paul Jackson Henry III

Presiding Common Pleas Judge Michael E. Bortner subsequently sentenced the double murderer to life without the possibility of parole.

District Attorney Dave Sunday has said Paul Henry's motives were rage and jealousy. Veronique Henry had previously been intimately involved with Cheeks, who was her drug dealer, in 2016 when she and her husband were temporarily separated.

Shot in throat: State police said the Henrys, both armed with guns, knocked at Cheeks' door on Sept. 13, 2016, and when Taylor opened the door, Paul Henry fatally shot her in the throat.

The couple then went inside, where Paul Henry gunned down an unarmed Cheeks, according to trial testimony.

The Henrys robbed four others inside — including two teens — of their cellphones so they couldn't call police, but let all four live even though they'd seen the Henrys' faces, according to testimony.

Henry blamed his dead wife for the crimes, but jurors on May 22, 2018, found him guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of robbery.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.