Victim dies hours after Carlton Henderson arraigned in Pawcatuck stabbing

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The woman who was stabbed several times during a Nov. 30 domestic incident at her Pawcatuck home has died, Stonington police say, just hours after the suspect in the incident appeared in court on attempted murder, assault and other charges.

The victim, identified as Brandia M. Irvin, 41, died about 3 p.m. Friday at Yale New Haven Hospital, police said in a news release Friday night. Her death came about two hours after Carlton Henderson, 43, was arraigned in New London Superior Court on charges of criminal attempt to commit murder, first-degree assault, risk of injury to a minor and criminal attempt to commit assault on a police officer.

The state's attorney's office will review the charges in the case, police said in the release announcing Irvin's death.

A 12-year-old boy who witnessed his mother being viciously stabbed by her live-in boyfriend, Henderson, at their Pawcatuck home on Nov. 30 ran to a neighbor's house and said the man he calls "Chico" was killing his mother, according to an arrest warrant affidavit written by Stonington police Detective Matthew Capalbo.

The boy was "visibly upset," but the neighbor thought it was probably just a verbal argument, and called the routine line at the Stonington Police Department — not 911 — according to the affidavit.

When police arrived at 77 Mechanic St. shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, they found the victim lying on the ground next to the stairs leading into the first-floor apartment with blood pooling beneath her. She had multiple stab wounds on her head and neck, no pulse and was not breathing when Officer Kristy Murray began performing CPR. There was more blood on the apartment's doors and floors.

A man later identified as Henderson, was exiting the driveway in a tan Nissan Maxima as Officers Halim Hage and Dale Brummund arrived, according to the affidavit. Hage signaled and yelled at the man to stop but he kept driving toward Hage, who pointed his department-issued firearm at him. Henderson kept driving, forcing the two officers to jump out of the way, and headed north on Mechanic Street at high speed.

Details of the alleged crimes were made public when Henderson was arraigned. Judge Hunchu Kwak set Henderson's bond at $1.5 million, citing his prior criminal history and a "significant safety concern" based on the allegations. Kwak ordered Henderson, who stood before him in a white jumpsuit, to have no contact with the woman or boy.

As their investigation progressed, Stonington police kept in touch with the family and Yale New Haven Hospital, which reported nine hours after the incident that the victim was in "extremely critical condition." The victim's brother texted Detective Gregory Howard that one of the stab wounds struck a nerve in the back of the victim's neck and she had bleeding on the brain. The brother reported that doctors drilled a hole in her skull to relieve pressure.

Henderson had remained at large until Thursday, when he was taken into custody without incident about 5:26 p.m. on Thursday at Hillside Apartments in Norwich during a joint operation with the Norwich and Stonington police departments.

The victim's son told police he was in his bedroom when his mother and Henderson came in and the victim said, "Wait, just let me hold my son," according to the affidavit. The boy said "Chico" pushed his mother against the wall and grabbed her hair with one hand while hitting her with a kitchen knife he held in the other hand. The boy said the fight continued to the front door and outside, where Henderson pulled the woman back in.

The boy said his mother told Henderson, "Just stop. We can talk," and that Henderson responded, "No. It's over," according to the affidavit.

Police interviewed acquaintances of Henderson, one of whom told them Henderson has been using "wet," which is a combination of marijuana and PCP, and has been acting erratically and paranoid. The acquaintance, identified only as Witness 3, said he spoke to Henderson hours after the stabbing and when he told Henderson he had stabbed his girlfriend, "Henderson said he could not remember and to not tell him that."

Another acquaintance said Henderson called at 9:18 a.m. that day, appeared calm at first and said he would "probably be dropping by." The person, who lives in Groton, said Henderson, when asked what was wrong, responded, "Everything. It's just bad." During a conversation later that day, the person said they asked Henderson why he had stabbed the victim. Henderson said they were fighting, but provided no details, according to the affidavit.

Henderson has criminal convictions dating back to 1994 that include narcotics sales and failure to appear in court.

He was sentenced to three years in prison for a 2003 armed home invasion in which he and another man robbed four people at gunpoint in New London and then led police on an eight-mile, high-speed chase.

In 2009, while on six years of parole, he was arrested in Pawcatuck for violating his parole by removing his GPS monitoring device. In 2016, he served 30 days in prison for possession of marijuana, according to a bail commissioner's report.

He was unemployed at the time of his arrest. His next court date, on Dec. 23, will be at the "Part A" court on Huntington Street, where major crimes are heard.

k.florin@theday.com

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