TribLIVE

| News

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Hawaii man sentenced to life in 1996 killing of Pitt professor

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

HONOLULU — A Hawaii man convicted of killing a visiting University of Pittsburgh linguistic professor from Beaver County in 1996 has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Circuit Judge Richard Perkins gave Jason Lee McCormick the mandatory sentence on Wednesday.

McCormick, 40, was convicted in June of killing Robert T. Henderson, 51, of Chippewa, who was serving as a guest lecturer at the University of Hawaii.

Henderson was strangled, prosecutors say. His nude, decomposed body was found in his Waikiki condo five days after he was last seen leaving campus.

McCormick had a stipulated facts trial, where lawyers on both sides allowed Perkins to make a decision based on police reports, mental health evaluations and McCormick's statements.

The case was unsolved until 2008, when McCormick confessed while being treated at a psychiatric facility. He later went to police and confessed again, his attorney, Michael Green, has said.

“As years went by, he had a problem living with himself,” Green has said.

In closing arguments at trial, Green said McCormick was drunk and went into a rage because he was sexually abused as a child and believed Henderson made sexual advances toward him.

There was a message scrawled on Henderson's body, accusing him of molesting children.

Police said there was no evidence to back up the child molestation claim and Henderson's family has said they believe the message was a smokescreen to cover up a robbery because two watches and a money clip they believe Henderson took to Hawaii disappeared.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Beaver

  1. Cyclist flown to Presby for injuries in Beaver County crash
  2. 2 Beaver County court employees, lawyer, client charged in wiretapping, weapon case
  3. Beaver County widow won’t lose home over $6.30 late fee