Bigamists charged with capital murder of 2 children, pregnant wife

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Courtesy: Sarah Cole

A bigamist and one of his wives have been charged with capital murder in connection with four people whose bodies, including two children and his pregnant wife, were found in a burning house Tuesday evening.

The charges were announced Wednesday afternoon against 40 year old Christopher Matthew Henderson and 42 year old Rhonda Carlson. They are currently being held without bond.

The fire was at a house on St. Clair Lane in the New Market are of Huntsville. Investigators claim a home surveillance video shows Henderson and Carlson at the scene of the fire around the time it started.

Fire investigators have identified the victims who died in the fire. They are:

Kristen Chambers Henderson, 35, she was Christopher Henderson's wife. She was also 9 months pregnant with his child, according to court records and family friends

Also found in the rubble was 67 year old Jean Smallwood. She was Kristen Henderson's mother.

Fire crews also pulled the body of 8 year old Clayton Chambers, who was Kristen Henderson's son and a student at Riverton Elementary School. He was not Christopher Henderson's child. The last body to be recovered was that of one year old Eli Sokolowski who was Kristen Henderson's nephew, according to family friends. 

Christopher Henderson had filed for divorce from Kristen Henderson back on July 14. Last week Kristen Henderson obtained a protection-from-abuse order from the Madison County Circuit Court against him. Investigators said it was during that hearing Kristen discovered that Christopher Henderson was also married to Carlson.

The court order by Judge Ruth Ann Hall found that the order was necessary to prevent abuse and that Christopher Henderson represented a credible threat to Kristen Henderson.

"The theory being that something happened in relation to the court hearing which precipitated Mr. Henderson and Rhonda Jean Carlson to go back to the residence," said Chief Deputy Dave Jernigan.

Investigators say the fire started around 3:30 p.m. Officials said witness interviews at the fire scene pointed them to Henderson and Carlson who were detained by Huntsville police until deputies took them in for questioning Tuesday evening.

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