Who is Latia Henderson? Pregnant 19-year-old and pal stab and kidnap woman, 24, by stuffing her in car boot
Henderson, now 20 weeks pregnant, has spent nine weeks behind bars and family said the duo is innocent
A pregnant teenage girl, who allegedly helped a friend stab and kidnap a woman during a horrific 12-hour ordeal, still retains the full support of her family, who maintains she is innocent. Latia Henderson, 18, has been behind bars after being accused of helping her friend Kayley Lee Ketley, 24, stab and kidnap Nisha Phillips, also 24, from a house in Claymore, Sydney, earlier this year on February 3.
The woman, after being stabbed, was allegedly stuffed into the boot of her own Holden Commodore. However, she managed to escape after a passing truck driver saw the victim's hand sticking through a tail light which she had managed to kick out.
Who is Latia Henderson?
Latia Henderson's Instagram bio says: "Hustle the pretty things in life 🌞". The 18-year-old faced Campbelltown Local Court via video link on February 21, looking upbeat as she blew kisses to her grandparents and mother as they showed support from inside the gallery. However, the teenager, who was 14 weeks pregnant at the time, quickly broke down after she was refused bail, as the magistrate declared her extensive "history of violence" a risk to the community.
Henderson's lawyer Gazi Abbas argued that his client's alleged involvement in the case is yet to be ascertained and that she suffers from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and mental health issues after a traumatic childhood. Henderson had been left scarred by the horrific accident and death of her baby sister and the murder of her close friend Brayden Dillon, reported the Daily Mail.
Baby sister crushed to death
In 2016, Henderson's younger sister Indy Lee was crushed to death in a freak accident when the concrete war memorial at the Black Head Bowling Club fell on top of her. The incident occurred when another older child was standing on top of the headstone, which gave way and killed the three-year-old. According to the report, Henderson shared a photo of her baby sister's burial headstone, and said, in an emotional tribute on Instagram: "Half of my heart lives in heaven. I miss you so much angel eyes".
She has, time and again, shared photos of her sister saying she misses her. "Party hard up there baby girl, forever in our hearts 💘," she said in one. In another, she drew 'Indy' followed by a heart sign on a wet, sandy beach. "I miss you more everyday 🦋💖," she said.
'Execution-style' murder of Brayden Dillon
Just five months after her sister's death, Henderson's life was again rocked by the shooting death of Brayden Dillon on Good Friday in 2017. Dillon, 15, had been shot dead "execution-style" by Bassam Hamzy, founder of the infamous Middle Eastern crime gang Brothers 4 Life, a gang active in south-western suburbs of Sydney. Dillon's older brother, Joshua, had knifed a nephew of the gang's associate Abdul Abu-Mahmoud, in self-defense, during a July 2016 street brawl in Panania, southwest Sydney. Hamzy masterminded the hit against Brayden as a retaliation for the death.
The shooter, Conrad Craig, was sentenced in 2020 to at least 30 years in jail for the shocking killing. At the time, Henderson told media, according to the Daily Mail: "He was a really good friend of mine. It’s so hard to accept the fact that he’s gone." She has also, often shared pictures of Dillon on her Instagram. "Never take what you have for granted you never know when your going to loose it. I will never forget your beautiful smile, I will cherish you for the rest of my life, all our memories bray, everything. I know you would be watching down on us wanting us to be stronger than ever. I miss you so much, rest in paradise baby ❤️ such a gorgeous boy taken way too soon.. forever in out hearts bray we love you ❤️," she said in a post.
'They're not guilty'
Henderson, now 20 weeks pregnant, has spent nine weeks behind bars. She has reached the halfway mark this week. Her mother told Daily Mail Australia outside of court the duo were not guilty. Clutching the hand of a little girl and supported by her own mother (Henderson's grandmother) defiantly claimed: "We don't need to make any comments because they're not guilty". Henderson's grandmother then said they had nothing else to discuss on the matter.
Henderson and Ketley stand accused of subjecting Phillips to more than 12 hours of horror, after attacking the woman at 10.30 pm on February 2. It wasn't until close to 11.30 am the next morning that police pulled over her car and allegedly freed her from the boot. Phillips was suffering stab wounds to her knee, thigh and forearm. Detectives were investigating if the alleged kidnappers were on their way via the Hume Highway to the Belanglo State Forrest, which lies between Sydney and Canberra.
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The three women were known to each other, but details of an alleged personal dispute that may have led to the eventual kidnapping still remain unclear. Ketley has additionally been charged with cannabis possession and driving while disqualified.
Henderson is scheduled to appear for a hearing in Campbelltown Local Court on April 28. The two women have been charged with unlawful wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, detaining to gain advantage causing bodily harm and driving a vehicle without the owner's consent.