Prosecutor: Suspect in East 92nd Street murders confessed, motive unknown

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CLEVELAND- The case is closed in the murders of five people, including an unborn child, prosecutors said on Friday.

James Sparks Henderson appears in court on May 8, 2015 with defense attorney Rufus Sims. (Photo: Jim Pijor/Fox 8 News)

James Sparks Henderson appears in court on May 8, 2015 with defense attorney Rufus Sims. (Photo: Jim Pijor/Fox 8 News)

James E. Sparks Henderson, 19, was charged with five counts of aggravated murder. His bond was set at $7.5 million and he has a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 18.

During a news conference, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty said Henderson confessed to the Nov. 21 murders on East 92nd Street. He showed no remorse and even had a meal at the house after killing five people, McGinty said. Prosecutors also said he went through the pockets of the deceased looking for money.

Prosecutors are not pursuing the death penalty.


Henderson was arrested at a McDonald's in Lakewood. Prosecutors said he had a 9 mm pistol with him that matched spent shell casings and bullets retrieved from the bodies. There isalso DNA evidence connecting him to the scene.

"He will murder no more," McGinty said.

The FOX 8 I-Team has learned more about Henderson's background. He was held in juvenile lock-up from August 19, 2010 until November 2010. He was then sent to the Marion County Community Correctional Facility. He was not released until July 19, 2011 when he was placed on aftercare.

Last fall, 41-year-old Sherita Johnson, who was pregnant, was shot and killed in the driveway of a house near East 92nd Street and Wade Park Avenue. Inside the home, Sherita’s 19-year-old son, Ja’rio Taylor; his friend, 17-year-old Shaylona Williams; and the mother’s boyfriend, 60-year-old Lemon Bryant, were dead.

Sherita Johnson’s 9-year-year daughter survived the shooting after a bullet grazed her chest and her 2-year-old son was unharmed.

Police do not know Henderson's motive, but he called Ja'rio Taylor his best friend.

Continuing coverage of the East 92nd Street murders here

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