News

York County murder suspect dies in prison of apparent suicide

Written by Gordon Rago/York Daily Record | Sep 16, 2016 6:02 AM
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Double-homicide: police found the bodies of a man and woman in a house on Brown Road, Fawn Township, Tuesday night.(Photo: Ted Czech, York Daily Record)

(York) -- A woman who state police charged Wednesday in connection with a double homicide in Fawn Township was found dead Thursday in York County Prison, according to the York County Coroner's Office.

Veronique Henry was found unresponsive inside her cell after what appears to be a hanging, the coroner's office said. The coroner was notified around 10:10 a.m.

Prison corrections officers found her, according to a news release issued by York County spokesman Carl Lindquist, and immediately began administering CPR. Attempts to revive her were ultimately unsuccessful.

No foul play is suspected, Coroner Pam Gay said.

At no time did Henry indicate she was contemplating suicide to prison staff, the news release states.

Henry, 32, was arrested Wednesday along with her husband, Paul Henry, 40, after a brief chase in Dauphin County. State police charged them in connection with the shooting deaths of Danielle Taylor and Foday Cheeks.

Autopsies found that Cheeks, 31, died of multiple gunshot wounds, the York County Coroner's Office said, and that Taylor, 26, died of a gunshot wound to the neck, the coroner said.

Veronique and Paul Henry entered a home in the 700 block of Brown Road around 10:00 p.m. Tuesday, charging documents state. A person in the home saw a man shoot Cheeks several times, according to the documents.

In the early stages of the homicide investigation, state police said drugs were a possible motive.

The Henrys rummaged around the home on Brown Road looking for drugs, police said, as they demanded four other people, including two juveniles, stay on the ground or be shot.

Paul Henry, who wore nothing to conceal his face, at one point demanded to know where the drugs were, documents state.

After spending time briefly at the Pennsylvania State Police York barracks following their arrest Wednesday, the Henrys were taken to York County Prison. Bail was denied in each of their cases. Their criminal charges were filed through District Judge Laura S. Manifold's office, which said Thursday there was no record yet of attorneys in the case.

An autopsy has been scheduled for Friday morning for Veronique Henry, the coroner's office said. Her family has been notified.

County Commissioner Doug Hoke, who is the president of the prison board, said Thursday that he was notified of Henry's death in the morning. He followed up with the deputy warden during the day.

"Anytime something like this happens in the prison, we have protocols we follow," Hoke said in an interview. "We take this very seriously."

State Police are called in to conduct an investigation of inmate deaths and there is also an internal investigation conducted, Hoke said

Hoke said that the number of suicides in the prison has been "relatively small" over the last several years.

Henry's death is not the first in recent years.

In September 2014, two women hanged themselves in their cells. Their deaths came within one week of each other, the York County Coroner's Office reported at the time.

Hoke said that there were thorough reviews of the deaths and recommendations were made, but was not able to recall what specifically was done.

Any inmate who acknowledges suicidal thoughts or is a suicide risk is put on supervision and offered counseling, the news release issued by Lindquist stated.

Neither Lindquist nor a state police spokesman were available for comment later Thursday night.

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