Accused killer of Schererville woman still at large
By Carole Carlson email@example.com/648-3154 May 24, 2012 6:18PM
Jacqueline Gardner, Schererville murder victim. | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media ptmet
Updated: July 3, 2012 9:52AM
SCHERERVILLE — The 25-year-old Gary man accused of the May 19 murder of a Schererville waitress is a convicted cocaine dealer.
Stephen Lee Henderson, who is still at large and considered armed and dangerous, was arrested by Hammond Police in 2007 for cocaine dealing. He pleaded guilty in 2009 and received a six-year sentence. Typically, Indiana offenders serve half their sentence.
Hammond police arrested Henderson in 2007 for cocaine possession, but that charge was dismissed.
Indiana State Police arrested him for speeding in 2008. He failed to show up for a court appearance and a judge suspended his driver’s license.
Henderson and Michael A. Craig, 22, of Merrillville, and William Blasingame III, 30, of Harvey, Ill., are facing a murder charge and a second count of murder in the perpetration of a robbery in Lake Superior Court.
Police said Jacqueline Gardner, 24, was shot to death in the hallway of her Hidden Creek apartment complex in the 8000 block of Alpine Lane, south of Pine Island about 11:30 p.m. May 19.
She was the mother of two small children, including one she was still breastfeeding, a witness said.
Gardner was returning home from her shift at a Merrillville restaurant with about $85 in tip money.
Police checked a cellphone found in a car driven by Blasingame and saw the last time its GPS function was used was in front of Gardner’s apartment.
Gardner’s live-in boyfriend told police he heard a struggle in the hallway and through a peephole he saw Henderson grab Gardner in a chokehold. Gardner suffered a fatal shotgun wound in her back. Police said the money was missing.
Gardner’s funeral is at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Lawn Funeral Home in Burbank, Ill.
Anyone with information about Henderson’s whereabouts can call Schererville police at 322-5000.