Miller County prosecutor files murder, other charges

By Bob Watson

bwatson@newstribune.com

Miller County Prosecutor Matt Howard filed a murder charge Sunday against an Iberia man whose home address is the same as the home where Macala Shelton, 13, last was seen Friday night.

Howard on Sunday charged Steven Neal Henderson, 30, Iberia, with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

A probable cause statement filed with the charges said Henderson stabbed Macala Shelton, 13, Iberia with “a large survival knife” about 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

His bond was set at $500,000 and, according to a docket entry after his arraignment this morning — as shown on Case.net (www.courts.mo.gov/casenet), the state court system’s online reporting service — Henderson asked to be represented by the state Public Defender’s office.

Miller County Sheriff Bill Abbott said — in a news release dated Sunday and provided to the News Tribune late this morning — that the girl’s body was “located in a wooded area at an unoccupied farm near Iberia.”

Officials have said they’d say more at a 3 p.m. news conference today.

Nothing in the sheriff’s release or the probable cause statement indicate a relationship between Henderson and the girl.

Abbott’s office issued an “Endangered Person Advisory” for Shelton on Saturday afternoon, after her grandmother reported the girl was missing when the grandmother went to wake her up about 1 p.m.

Shelton last was seen about 11:45 p.m. Friday, when she was going to bed.

Abbott’s release did not say when the girl’s body was found, but his office canceled the Endangered Person Advisory about 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

Howard also charged Jerry Lee Henderson II, 33, Iberia, with unlawful possession of a firearm.

His bond was set at $50,000 and, according to a docket entry after his arraignment this morning, he also asked to be represented by the state Public Defender’s office.

The probable cause statement filed with the charge indicated “multiple firearms” were found inside the Iberia home, at 102 N. St. Louis St., “while conducting a death investigation,” and that Jerry Henderson should not have had those weapons because he’s a convicted felon.

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