Thomas Henderson
Thomas Henderson

January 12, 2017

A 55-year-old Lake City man who bludgeoned and stabbed to death two people in a Glidden trailer house in 2014 lost his appeal for a new trial on Wednesday.

Thomas Guy Henderson claimed his two first-degree murder convictions should be voided because his lawyer failed to properly defend him, and that a judge allowed illegal evidence and overstepped his authority when he denied Henderson’s motion for a mistrial, according to court records.

Henderson was convicted of the crimes in May 2015. He is in prison for life at Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.

Prosecutors alleged that Henderson went to the home of Tami DeVore, 48, in May 2014 to give her a tattoo of a cat on her leg. The two apparently argued before the tattoo was done, and Henderson bashed her skull with some unspecified, heavy object.

Henderson then went into the living room of the trailer house and stabbed DeVore’s son, Karl DeVore, 30, in the head with a knife as DeVore lay on a couch. Henderson slashed DeVore with another knife to kill him.

Investigators eventually linked Henderson to the crimes with DNA. They found Henderson’s blood on two knives in the trailer house, including the one he plunged into DeVore’s head.

Henderson mocked the DeVores’ relatives and friends when he was sentenced in June 2015 to life in prison. He stuck out his tongue at them and said he’d say “Hi” to one of their relatives who was serving a prison sentence at the time.

In his appeal, Henderson argued there was not enough evidence to convict him and that a judge improperly allowed hearsay evidence during the trial, among other contentions.

The Iowa Court of Appeals disagreed in its Wednesday decision.

“On our review, there is no reason to believe the jury ignored critical evidence or that its verdict is against the weight of the evidence,” it concluded.

Henderson can appeal the court’s decision to the Iowa Supreme Court.