Jury deliberations begin today in the murder trial of David Henton, the retired 72-year-old truck driver accused of bludgeoning his 65-year-old girlfriend, Joyce Sutton.
The prosecution accused Henton of being more concerned about Joyce’s cats, Pudsy and Twinkle, than about Joyce immediately after the killing, implying his guilt. Ultimately, he was arrested for confessing to the cats, which got taped when police bugged his house.
The trial revealed that although Joyce was perfectly mobile, she’d taken to lying in bed and smoking all day, too lazy to even use the bathroom. Henton would cook for her, empty her bedpan and, presumably, care for her cats.
Joyce’s behavior undoubtedly made life smelly and miserable for all of them.
The verdict could go either way. The murder weapon was never found, but glass shards found on Henton’s front and rear car mats came from a door the murderer smashed to make it look like a burglary. Everyone on the scene probably stepped in the glass, but glass in Henton’s back seat could indicate where he tossed the weapon he needed to dispose of.
The defense contested most of the indistinct taped confessions with imaginative interpretations of Henton’s babbling, so those could be thrown out.
The only other likely suspect is Joyce’s son, a convicted rapist and a chronic mooch who owes Henton money, but the son was never charged.
So, the jury could let Henton off because they think the wrong man’s on trial. Or maybe they’ll take pity on an elderly man who got himself into a real pickle over a woman who’d become impossible, and let him live out his days wrestling with his conscience.
If they find him guilty, Pudsy and Twinkle will be orphaned again.