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Jury recommends death for man convicted of 2020 murders of former Lakeland Commissioner, husband

LAKELAND, Fla. — A Polk County jury has recommended that the man convicted of the 2020 robbery and murder of a former Lakeland City Commissioner and her husband in their own home be put to death.

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Now 39-year-old Marcelle Waldon was convicted last week of two counts of first-degree murder and other charges for the deaths of Edith “Edie” Yates Henderson and her husband, David Henderson.

Edie and David were both found brutally murdered on Nov. 11, 2020 in their home on Lake Morton Dr.

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According to court documents, Edie’s son called 911 the day before requesting a welfare check on the couple after he was unable to make contact with them, and Edie missed a scheduled doctor’s appointment.

Police later found Edie on a bed in the master bedroom of the home, dead from multiple stab wounds, with her legs bound.

David was found in the closet area of the bedroom, also dead from apparent stab wounds.

Police noted the home appeared to have been ransacked with several items of value missing. David Henderson’s car, a white Audi, was also taken.

Police later found the car on fire in the 400 block of Oregon Ave. in Lakeland in an apparent attempt to destroy evidence.

An informant later led police to Waldon.

Investigators learned Waldon had tried to cash two checks written to him in the amount of $5,000 each that had been signed by Edie Henderson. The transactions failed when the cashier was unable to verify the checks with the victims.

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Investigators say they also found some of the missing property on Waldon when he was arrested later on an unrelated charge.

In an interview, Waldon admitted to being in David’s white Audi, but claimed he only agreed to burn it for another man in exchange for $300.

Investigators ultimately determined that Waldon entered the victims’ home through an unlocked side door on Nov. 10, 2020, armed with a gun.

They say Waldon first encountered Edie in an upstairs bedroom of the home and forced her to write a personal check to him, then bound her ankles and hands while he burglarized the rest of the house before killing her.

Investigators say Waldon continued to ransack the home until David arrived and was also attacked.

Waldon then turned on all the gas burners in the kitchen with the intent of burning the home down after he left.

Waldon’s trial began last month and on January 31, a jury found him guilty on 10 felonies including two counts of first-degree murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and arson.

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On Tuesday, 11 out of 12 jurors recommended Waldon be put to death for his crimes.

A judge will decide whether to actually assess that penalty at a later date, still to be determined.

Edie Henderson served as a Lakeland City Commissioner from 2006 until 2018.

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