SANTA CRUZ — The man who allegedly murdered his parents at their Aptos Hills home in June will face trial, a Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge ruled Thursday.
Judge Timothy Volkmann ruled during a pretrial hearing that prosecutors have enough evidence to bring James Roland Henderson, 41, to trial. He will return to court Jan. 16 to set a trial date.
Henderson has been in custody since his arrest June 30, when the murders are alleged to have occurred. He is being held in Santa Cruz County Jail on $2 million bail.
Investigators believe that Henderson ran over his father with a car and attacked his mother, then fled on foot.
Deputies received a call of a family disturbance on the 100 block of Ridgeview Drive, a rural, affluent neighborhood in the Aptos Hills above Cabrillo College.
According to emergency dispatchers, Edith Henderson called 911 to report that someone had run over her husband with a vehicle. That phone call cut off in mid-sentence, and she was discovered dead with blunt force trauma to her body, deputies said.
When they arrived they found Joseph Henderson, 71, and Edith Henderson, 68, both dead.
Henderson was found asleep in a nearby corral after a three-hour manhunt. He struggled when deputies tried to arrest him, and deputies subdued him with a Taser.
Deputies said Henderson had blood on his hands and fingernails. He was charged with two counts of murder, resisting arrest and vandalism.
Court records show several convictions in Henderson’s past.
In 1996, he had already served jail time when he was convicted of petty theft and receiving stolen property. In 1998 he was arrested for evading police in a chase that caused injury and for resisting arrest. In 2000 he was convicted of felony burglary, auto theft and buying or selling stolen property. In 2004 he was again convicted of resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance. Four years later he was convicted of petty theft, buying or selling stolen property and forgery.
In 2011 he was arrested for several counts of felony vandalism.
Assistant District Attorney Ross Taylor and defense attorney Zach Schwarzbach did not immediately return calls for comment.
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