Investigators believe Alabama bigamist Christopher Henderson and his first wife, Rhonda Carlson, started the Tuesday house fire that killed Christopher’s 9-months-pregnant second wife, Kristen Henderson, along with Henderson’s her 8-year-old son, her mother, and her 1-year-old nephew.
AL.com reports that Christopher and Rhonda were formally charged with capital murder yesterday, after surveillance footage showed them near the house at the time the fatal fire ignited. Chief Deputy Dave Jernigan said Christopher married Rhonda in February 2013 and Kristen in September 2014–facts that became public when Kristen took Christopher to court last week and successfully sought an order of protection.
“He never dissolved the first marriage, so he was actually married to two women at the time. And this was causing some issues in the household which I think precipitated what happened,” Chief Deputy Jernigan said. “The theory being that something happened in relation to the court hearing which precipitated Mr. Henderson and Rhonda Jean Carlson to go back to the residence.”
The Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office is still investigating the fire, and the causes of death have yet to be determined. Investigators expect Christopher and Rhonda will face more charges. Given their current charges for capital murder, they face either life in prison without parole, or the death penalty.