CLEVELAND – The FOX 8 I TEAM has obtained the videotaped interrogation of the man sent to prison after killing 5 people and shooting and wounding a 9-year-old girl.
The video shows what it took to convict James Sparks-Henderson. The killings happened at a home on East 92nd in 2014, and this year, Sparks-Henderson went to prison on 5 life sentences with no chance of parole.
Cleveland homicide investigator Ray Diaz asked Sparks-Henderson, “Were you there?” He answered, “No, I was not there. I was not there.” Diaz said, “For once in your life do the right thing. Why did you do this?” He answered, “I didn’t…”
Sparks-Henderson can be heard shouting at investigators saying, “I don’t go out here robbing. I don’t go out here robbing and stealing like other people out here. I don’t do that. That’s not me.”
Meantime, police remind him, they know his gun was the murder weapon, his DNA can be tied to shell casings, and his phone records put him around the crime scene while he said he was at Tower City.
Finally, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor at the time offered a deal. Prosecutors promised not to seek the death penalty in exchange for the truth.
Sparks-Henderson starts talking about how it all happened. Yet, investigators have to remind him his story keeps changing.
He ultimately admits he shot his best friend and the others at the house. And, he showed police the trouble started when he got a shove from a 60-year-old man at the home. Sparks-Henderson never provided a clear explanation regarding why things turned so violent. But he also admitted, after the shooting, he went through the pockets of the victims and even made something to eat at the home.
He said, “I shot Rio (his friend) because, like, he was there, like he just like looked at me…”
Detective Diaz asked, “You shot at the little girl?” Sparks-Henderson answered, “Yeah” And he added, “I just didn’t, honestly just did not know what to do. I did not know what to do.”
By the time the interrogation ended, Sparks-Henderson already knew he wouldn’t get the death penalty, but he’d never walk the streets again.
He said, “I’m not gonna see my kid. I just wanna see my girlfriend and my kid. Oh, my God!”
Defense attorney Rufus Sims fought to have the confession thrown out of court since Sparks-Henderson didn’t have a lawyer present. But only a portion of the interrogation was thrown out.
Henderson was not arrested until many months after the crime, but the I TEAM has learned police found pictures of the crime scene still on his phone.