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March 8, 2016

For Immediate Release

Newport News, Virginia


On March 8, 2016, Anthony Leon Exum pled guilty to 2nd-Degree Murder and Stabbing in the Commission of a Felony for the murder of Kerrie Ann Henson.  Pursuant to a plea agreement, Exum was sentenced to a total of 25 years active incarceration.  Exum was sentenced to serve 40 years for the murder, with 20 years suspended, and he received a sentence of 5 years for the stabbing.

On January 17, 2014, City of Newport News employees found the body of Karrie Ann Henson in a shallow ditch adjacent to Industrial Park Drive.  An autopsy revealed that Henson had been stabbed twenty-two times, and the multiple stab wounds were listed as her official cause of death by the Medical Examiner.  After an exhaustive investigation, detectives from the Newport News Police Department identified the defendant, Anthony Leon Exum, as a suspect.  Exum initially admitted he knew Henson, but he denied any involvement in her murder.  After being confronted with several inconsistencies and fabrications in his story, Exum eventually admitted that he was the person who had stabbed Henson inside his vehicle on January 17, 2015.  Exum claimed that he stabbed Henson after a brief struggle over a knife that she produced.  Exum also admitted that he had left her body on Industrial Park Drive.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Mark L. McKinney and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jamie L. Wilder with assistance from Victim/Witness Advocate Shannon Powell.