Sexual orientation played role in SB veteran's murder, according to court docs

Published: Mar. 22, 2016 at 3:23 PM EDT
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A South Bend man has been charged with the murder of local veteran Jodie Henderson.

On January 16,

His body was left near his parked SUV on the 1200 block of E. Sorin Street.

Henderson served in the 381st military police company with the Indiana National Guard, including one year in Afghanistan. While Metro Homicide Commander Tim Corbett commended Henderson for his service, he remarked that -- and Henderson's personal life, didn't change crime-solving formalities.

"What his sexual orientation was doesn't make any difference, don't care if he has a criminal record or does have a criminal record. It makes no difference. We're doing it for the right reasons," said Corbett.

According to probable cause documents released Tuesday, investigators have a video that shows Henderson talking about being in love with a 23-year-old man named Jabreeh Cash Davis-Martin.

After speaking with family and friends, detectives learned that Henderson was known to be gay.

A confidential informant told police that, on the night of Henderson's death, Davis-Martin "bragged" that he had killed a homosexual and revealed fresh blood on his T-shirt.

Davis-Martin also allegedly told another informant that he killed the man because he had made a "gay move on him."

While with that informant, Davis-Martin returned to where Henderson had been beaten. He then allegedly "stomped" on Henderson's head multiple times and punched him repeatedly while yelling a slur.

Davis-Martin reportedly picked up a landscaping brick and was about to hit Henderson, but the informant claims to have stopped him.

Henderson died as a result of blunt force and sharp instrument trauma. Working with Henderson's family almost every day since the homicide, Corbett said the murder charge is far from closure.

"It's not like the minute this person's arrested, they're convicted and sent off to prison you're gonna forget about what happened to your loved one," said Commander Tim Corbett. "There is a bit of satisfaction knowing that the person who did this is in custody."

It was very cold the day he was found, and investigators say that didn't help. Henderson also had alcohol in his system.

Davis-Martin was in the St. Joseph County Jail on another matter when he was connected to Henderson's death. A pair of shoes in his room were found to have blood residue on them, and they matched prints found at the scene.

Indiana is one of five states that does not recognize "hate crimes." There's no distinction between the reasons for a murder, just that crime occurred.