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Custody Battle Ends in Double Murder-Suicide

Posted March 12, 2007
Updated March 13, 2007

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— A father and two children were found dead Monday afternoon at a Johnston County home in what authorities are calling a double murder and suicide.

Authorities said Steven Henry, 35, from Garner, shot his 6-year-old daughter, Ashley, and 4-year-old son, Gregory, before turning a gun on himself.

The slayings occurred outside the home of Dawn Henry -- Steven Henry's estranged wife and the children's mother -- on Vinson Road between Clayton and Wilson's Mills, authorities said.

The couple was engaged in a bitter custody battle, authorities said, and Dawn Henry contacted the Johnston County Sheriff's Office Monday morning after seeing her estranged husband's car in her driveway as she was returning home.

When deputies arrived at the house to see what Steven Henry wanted, they found all three bodies inside the car, authorities said.

Authorities spent Monday afternoon collecting evidence from the scene, and Dawn Henry was taken to the Johnston County Sheriff's Office late Monday afternoon to speak with investigators.

Dawn, Ashley and Gregory Henry had been living the house for about six months, and neighbors said Monday they were stunned by the slayings.

"It just disrupts the whole flow of life," neighbor John Benson said. "It's unbelievable. It's just unbelievable."

Authorities said Dawn Henry is an employee of the Johnston County School System. It is unknown what job, if any, Steven Henry held before his death.

According to Steven Henry's neighbors in Garner, he was rarely seen outside his home and didn't interact with anyone in the neighborhood.

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  • gvmtcheese Mar 13, 3:46 p.m.

    And you wonder why people cheat? It is people like you with the holier than thou attitude that everyone is perfect and should be robots in this world. Get over yourself and come back to reality. I am gonna let you in a little secret, NO ONE IS PERFECT! I know the goals I have set in this life and I have already achieved most of them as well as my wife. Also, if your going to call me a cheater, please show some proof.

  • gvmtcheese Mar 13, 3:44 p.m.

    There you go again, splitting my words, your as bad as the media. I referenced the government only as an example of the lies they live everyday. How does the inability to work things out and convenience coincide? Again, your splitting my words to support your fundamentalist belief. Don't feel sorry for me a__hole, feel sorry for yourself. You don't know anything about what I have been through in my marriage, nor should you comment on it. Don't forget to give your bible a good thump before you goto bed tonight d_ck! You are right, I do feel good in knowing that I do not have to live my life as a prison sentence. I feel good each night my wife lays down beside me knowing she can be truthful and free about everything.

  • RBMan Mar 13, 3:24 p.m.

    That's good cheese. Call me names, blame the government, call others to join you in your selfish attitude so you won't feel bad about yourself.

    It's all about you. I know you made that "committment" but only if it is still convenient. I know you really "wanted" those kids, but they are just so much darn work. That new girl is so much more attractive than your wife now and you know what, you really deserve it.

    Thanks for proving my point. This 21st Century you are so fond of has bred this attitude and the scary part is you can't see why it is so flawed.

    LIVE FREE and to he-- with everyone else - nice attitude man.

  • gvmtcheese Mar 13, 3:17 p.m.

    jman, I would not worry about her. No one can get through to a scorned woman except a credit card and some chocolate cake. Unless you have those handy, let it go. :)

  • iwideopen Mar 13, 3:10 p.m.

    To Milli: My comment concerning child custody, etc, etc was removed and WRAL sent a threatening letter to my email address and what not. Okay fine -- since this is their show they can block me and not allow me to speak the truth if they like. But I, and countless other fathers who love their children, are currently living through this foolish nonsense. I for the life of me do not understantd why my ex, with the help of the so called JUSTICE SYSTEM, has the right to tell me when I can and cannot see and interact with my children. The children that I have loved and cared for from day one. I still DO NOT agree with this guy shooting his kids and all. It is never justified in my opinion. Yet I would be willing to bet that he was going through the same foolishness that I am. I said it before and I will say it again -- YOU ARE WRONG !!!

  • gvmtcheese Mar 13, 3:09 p.m.

    I do not call being real or realism being irresponsible. If you were living in the 21st Century, you probably would understand that but then again, most fundamentalist do not. You guys expect couples to be mind readers and fortune tellers and then when they get it wrong, your right there saying "no matter what, you gotta stick it out, you made a commitment." Give me a break, with all of the half truths our own government spits out daily, I am surprised anyone in this day and time even knows what marriage means anymore. I am just thankful for everyday I wake up. To those out there who are trapped in a marriage that is no longer working, please, please do not let fundamentalism stand in the way of your happiness. We are only here for a short time, and life is too short to imprison yourself forever. Let the fundies imprison themselves, they deserve everything they get ok. You deserve happiness! Get out before you look back on your life and realize it is too late.

  • gvmtcheese Mar 13, 2:51 p.m.

    Thanks for your fundamentalist view points, I am sure everyone here has thoroughly enjoyed it but I must ask that you take your fundamentalism back to church where it belongs. Keep feeling sorry about me and my family as I am sure we will get through whatever life brings us and if not we will still survive and prosper FREELY! When you do decide to come back to the 21st century, we may have something to discuss, until then, have fun prisoner number 122456.

  • Matthew 19_21 Mar 13, 2:44 p.m.

    If people took their own marriage vows seriously, there would never be divorce. People make a promise to GOD to honor their vows in sickness and in health, for better or for worse. That pretty much covers every situation.

    If your husband beats you up, that's the "for worse" part. No excuse to divorce.

    If your wife is an alcoholic, that's the "in sickness" part. No excuse to divorce.

    Divorced people should not be allowed to remarry (that should be the crux of the Defense of Marriage Act, but it would never have passed political muster because all those marriage defenders out there want to make sure they have a safe way "out" of their own marriages. Just look at Newt.

  • RBMan Mar 13, 2:28 p.m.

    Cheese, you just don't get it. Committment with "an out" is not a committment. You're not married, you are just playing house.

    And BTW - those shackles on my feet you refer to, their called responsibility. When you grow up, maybe you'll understand that.

  • gvmtcheese Mar 13, 2:18 p.m.

    No problem. I tried to make it more clear in later posts. You guys are right, it is sickening to see people get married to only divorce 6 months to a year later. It is sad indeed but at the same time it is even more sad to see 2 unhappy people living a lie for the sake of tradition or children. Is it not better for the couple/children/society to accept the fact it does not work and move on? I mean, I know there are those who circumvent the covenant due to their lack of commitment, but not every couple is the same. Please do not assume to know me or the issues that I have had in my marriage because yes, we have had issues that needed to be worked out, and they were. But at the same time, if an issue comes that can not be worked out, I will not hesitate to move on with my life. I may make it seem like its easy but I am not as frigid as you guys are making me out to be. Please, don't feel sorry for me or my children, feel sorry for yourself and the shackles you have placed on your ankles.

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