Distinctive eyes lead Orange County investigators to suspect in stabbing death of man in wheelchair

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — An anonymous tip helped Orange County homicide detectives track down the suspect in the murder of a 71-year-old man found stabbed in his wheelchair.


Emergency crews were called to the Amoco gas station on North John Young Parkway Saturday afternoon for reports of an injured man in a wheelchair.

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The victim, identified as Charlie Henderson, was taken to the hospital where he died. It was later discovered that Henderson had been stabbed in the abdomen and had suffered serious injuries to his face and head.

During the ensuing homicide investigation, deputies say a confidential source contacted them and identified their suspect as a man with “beautiful eyes.”

The day after the murder, investigators say the tipster called again and identified the suspect by the street name of “Cat Eyes.”

After searching law enforcement databases, homicide detectives identified 37-year-old Lester Starling III as a person who was known to go by “Cat Eyes.” The detectives noted in a recent booking photograph for Starling that he had very distinct, gray eyes.

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According to Starling’s arrest report, multiple other witnesses came forward and described seeing him assaulting Henderson on the day of the murder. Others claimed Starling had admitted to them that he’d killed Henderson and that it was an accident.

Later, in a phone call with Starling that was being monitored by detectives, he told one of the informants he accidentally killed Henderson after a confrontation over a missing wallet.

Investigators ultimately determined that Starling attacked Henderson as many as four separate times on the day of the murder as Henderson tried to get away in his wheelchair, before fatally stabbing him during the fifth attack.

Starling was arrested Wednesday on first-degree murder and drug possession charges.

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He’s being held in the Orange County jail on no bond.

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