Judge denies bond for Hensley

The man accused of killing his sister in Mason Township Friday was denied bond during his first court appearance in Cass County.

Police say 59-year-old Edward Hensley stabbed his sister, Martha Jean Sexton, to death in their Mason Township home.

It happened around 1:30 p.m. in the 19,000 block of U.S. 12.

In court Tuesday, Prosecutor Victor Fitz asked the judge to withhold bond.

“There are a number of reasons including danger to the public, as well as the incident itself, which caused grave concern to the public and to my office,” he said. “And so we asked for no bond in this case.”

Gasps were heard from Hensley and Sexton’s family members as Fitz described the details of Friday’s crime.

Fitz says for at least a week prior to the murder, Hensley had anger built up toward Sexton.

He’d been drinking peppermint schnapps Friday morning, before stabbing Sexton 11 times in the throat, neck and back.

Hensley then fled the scene, sending police searching for several hours before they found him in Elkhart.

Fitz says Hensely still had the bloody knife with him and admitted to killing Sexton.

He’s being charged with open murder.

“The charge of open murder has a variety of options, including first degree murder, second degree murder and manslaughter,” Fitz said. “At this point that's the charge we're proceeding on.”

A first-degree murder conviction carries a penalty of mandatory life in prison without parole.

If found guilty of second-degree murder, Hensley could serve any number of years up to life in prison.

He returns to court for a preliminary hearing July 12.

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