NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Authorities say a man who died after jumping out of a freezer and threatening employees with a knife at a New York City brunch hotspot was a suspected cold-case killer who’d just been released from jail in Boston.
Police say 54-year-old Carlton Henderson screamed “Away from me, Satan!” as he rushed out of the walk-in freezer at Sarabeth’s Restaurant around 11 a.m. Sunday. Police say he went into cardiac arrest after kitchen employees stripped away the knife and took him to the floor.
Henderson was facing murder charges in the 1988 shooting deaths of 26-year-old William Medina and 22-year-old Antonio Dos Reis. Henderson, 54, of Cave Creek, Arizona, got out of jail last Wednesday when a judge threw out key evidence in the pending double-murder case and ordered him released on his own recognizance.
Judge Janet Sanders said Henderson’s 1993 statements suggesting his involvement in the 1988 killings were inadmissible because he and investigators had an understanding that they couldn’t be used against him.
Henderson was looking to trade the information for a reduction in his 15-year prison sentence on drug and gun charges, Sanders wrote, and investigators treated him as a cooperating witness — not a target or a suspect — in his 55 hours of questioning.
Prosecutors argued such an informal immunity agreement, known as a proffer, would have been made in writing and no corroborating paperwork has been found.
Police arrested Henderson in St. Louis, Missouri, in June 2017 after bullets from the Boston killings were matched to a gun recovered in a fatal shooting in Miami in 1993.
The NYC Medical Examiner will determine Henderson’s cause of death as investigators look into why he went into the restaurant, how he got into the freezer, and how long he was in there for. The restaurant has not responded to multiple requests for comment.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)