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Woman charged with assault in Derry psychiatric hospital

| Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A patient at Torrance State Hospital is accused of attacking two women in a common area and threatening to gouge out the eyes of one.

Kara Marie Henderson, 29, is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison on state police allegations that she choked one patient and stabbed another. According to an affidavit of probable cause, Henderson entered a common area at the Derry Township psychiatric hospital, approached another female patient at 7 p.m. Tuesday and began punching her in the head with “no provocation.”

The patient told police that during the alleged assault, her eyeglasses were knocked from her face and broken.

“She relates that Henderson choked her by placing her hands about her throat and throttling her,” Trooper Clinton McChesney wrote in the affidavit.

Henderson retrieved the broken eyeglass frames and threatened to gouge out the eyes of a second female patient who entered the room, police said.

The second woman told police that Henderson “stabbed her on the forehead with the eyeglasses frame,” McChesney wrote.

The trooper reported 2-inch lacerations on the right side of the first woman's throat. The second woman sustained a nearly 3-inch laceration on the forehead, according to the affidavit.

Henderson is charged with terroristic threats, aggravated assault and two counts of simple assault before District Judge Mark Bilik.

She is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 23.

Online court records do not list an attorney for Henderson.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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