MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 24-year-old St. Paul man will spend more than 34 years in prison for choking a woman to death last September.

Sammy Devel Henderson pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder back in May in connection with the death of Sherell Montrese Craighead on Sept. 4, 2013. Henderson will get credit for 317 days already served in the Ramsey County Jail.

According to court documents, police were called to the 500 block of Minnehaha Avenue East last September on a report of an unresponsive woman. When they arrived, they found Craighead dead. Craighead’s 7-year-old son told police that his mother had Henderson over and they were arguing.

The boy woke up to his mother screaming, but told police he didn’t know what happened. He went back to bed and when he woke up, went to his grandmothers’ house. Henderson told police that he and Craighead would often drink alcohol, have sex and she would sometimes “act crazy,” the complaint states.

Henderson told police he tried to leave the residence on the night of the incident because he believed she was going to “flip out,” but she became angry and tried to pull him back into the bedroom. He told police he put his left arm around her throat while they were having sex, but didn’t put any force into it.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner ruled Craighead died of asphyxia due to manual strangulation.


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