Friday, September 19, 2014
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2nd suspect in Levittown musician's murder identified

Tatyana Henderson, 18, of Bensalem is in Bucks County Prison on unrelated theft charges. She tried to lure Danny DeGennaro out of his house so her accomplices could rob him, according to court records.

2nd suspect in Levittown musician's murder identified

Henderson
Henderson

The woman who tried to lure musician Danny DeGennaro out of his Bristol Township house so her accomplices could rob him is in Bucks County Prison on unrelated theft charges, authorities confirmed Thursday.

Tatyana Henderson, 18, of Bensalem, stole $271.87 last month from a Falls Township store with Danasia Bakr, the Falls Township teenager who was charged Tuesday with DeGennaro’s murder, according to authorities and court records.

Since Henderson is in prison on $250,000 bail for the alleged theft, “there’s no pressure” to charge her yet with the murder, county District Attorney Heckler said.

“We would have preferred to have Ms. Bakr’s cooperation and draw up all the complaints at once,” Heckler said. Henderson “is in custody on bail she can’t make, and her public defender knows we’re waiting for her to cooperate.“

Police know the identities of three men, including two gunmen, who also were involved in the botched robbery of the popular guitar player and songwriter, “but we need to be able to prove it in court,” Heckler said.

The search for them “is progressing,” he said.

On Dec. 28, Henderson and Bakr swapped 44 texts and cell phone calls in the hour leading up to the 10 p.m. shooting of DeGennaro in a botched robbery in his Crabtree Drive home, according to court records.

Henderson also called a phone number posted on a 2007 Volkswagen Jetta for sale in DeGennaro’s back yard to lure him outside and rob him, according to authorities and court records. The car and the cell phone number belonged to a neighbor, who declined to provide a test drive because he was in bed.

After the murder, the neighbor, Nick Wilson, told police about the call, and they used cell phone records to identify Henderson, Bakr, and their three co-conspirators, according to Bakr’s affidavit of probable cause.

Heckler confirmed that Henderson waited outside DeGennaro’s house while two gunmen went inside to rob him. Bakr also waited outside, in her 2002 dark green Lincoln, and heard two shots, according to the affidavit.  When the men got into her car, one of them said “he had to do it,” according to the affidavit.

DeGennaro died from a single shotgun wound to the chest at close range. A shot from a 9mm handgun missed the musician, who played with rock and R&B stars such as Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead and Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band.

Heckler declined to provide details of Henderson’s role while the case is under investigation. She will face the same first-degree murder, burglary, robbery and conspiracy charges that Bakr was arraigned on Tuesday, he said.

Bakr is being held without bail in the county prison and faces trial as an adult. Her lawyer for the arraignment was replaced Wednesday by Michael Parlow of Bensalem. He declined to comment on the case until he talks to Bakr, her family and prosecutors.

Henderson is being represented by a public defender, Heckler said. She is being held on $250,000 bail in the alleged theft of cash from the Sears Hardware store in the Pennsbury Shopping Center on West Trenton Avenue.

According to court documents in that case:

Bakr, 17, started working in the store near her home in the Alexandria Apartments complex in late January and almost immediately began giving money to Henderson.

On Feb. 4, Bakr gave Henderson $100 from the register. On Feb. 5 and 7, Henderson made inexpensive purchases and received extra cash back. Later each day, Henderson gave cash to Bakr.

On Feb. 8, a store official confronted Bakr, who admitted the thefts to him and later to police. She had met Henderson when they lived in the same apartment complex and attended Pennsbury High School.

The court documents refer to Henderson’s alleged accomplice as “DB,” because she is a juvenile, but authorities confirmed “DB” is Bakr.

Henderson was arrested on March 6 and arraigned before District Justice Jan Vislosky. Bakr also was arrested and arraigned last week, but those records were not available because she is a juvenile.     

About this blog
Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at cpalmer@phillynews.com, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at bfinley@phillynews.com, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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