published Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Antonio Henry pleads guilty to second-degree murder, gets 20 years in beating death of Chattanooga pastor

  • photo
    Antonio Henry, 28, appears before Judge Don Poole to plead guilty early Tuesday morning, April 9, 2013 on charges of beating a local pastor to death in the man's home.
    Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Antonio Henry pleaded guilty this morning to second-degree murder and 20 years in prison for his role in the beating death of David Strong.

He was scheduled for a trial to begin today on that charge. He originally faced charges of first-degree murder, which could have resulted in a life sentence. Henry, 28, and his cousin Brendan Barnes, 19, were charged with first-degree murder and robbery shortly after police found Pastor David Strong's body in his 404 Glenwood Drive home on Oct. 5, 2010.

The hearing today took place in Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Don Poole's courtroom.

Within weeks Henry had told the Times Free Press in a jailhouse interview that he and Barnes beat the 55-year-old man to death after he'd propositioned them for sex while the three were smoking marijuana at the residence.

Barnes' trial date has not been set. He faces the same charges as Henry in the slaying.

For more see tomorrow's Times Free Press.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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