Thursday, February 08, 2001

Suspect's statement describes slaying of girl, police say

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Thirteen-year-old Mary Hall lost her life in a bloody, violent attack police say left her pleading for her life and trying to run from her teen-aged attacker in an abandoned building.

        The Northside girl was infatuated with Dwayne Henry, the 16-year-old accused of punching, kicking and hitting her in the head with a board, Cincinnati police say.

        Mr. Henry told police in a taped statement that Mary liked to hang out with him, and that she told him he was good-looking and tall. The two lived blocks from each other in Northside.

Mary Hall
Mary Hall
        Their relationship ended in her death the night of Jan. 27 during a fight that was particularly vicious, Cincinnati homicide Detective James Engelhardt testified Wednesday in Hamilton County Juvenile Court.

        Judge Sylvia Hendon Wednesday bound Mr. Henry over to adult court to face a murder charge and ordered a psychological evaluation.

        Mr. Henry's lawyer, Ken Lawson, had argued that the teen-ager has psychological problems, including a past suicide attempt.

        The teen-agers were together that night at Mr. Henry's family's apartment. They left after his mother called and told him he couldn't have a girl in his room, Detective Engelhardt said.

        From there, police have Mr. Henry's description of sexual encounters that followed, plus bloody clothes found in his clothes hamper.

        Mary's mother, sister and grandmother sat in court listening to the details about how the 13-year-old spent the last hours of her life. She was found the next afternoon in the basement of the vacant building at Chase and Dane avenues.

        Mr. Henry's mother was in court, too. She helped police find her son to arrest him.

        Mr. Henry said he grew angry that night and accused Mary of being a “tease.” She slapped him, he said, and he punched her. The fight escalated until Mr. Henry picked up a board and hit Mary in the head and stomach. She ran through the building, bleeding extensively, Detective Engelhardt said. Her body was found in the building's basement.


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