Killer of Henderson man in 1986 dies in Arizona prison

Updated February 10, 2018 - 3:48 pm

A condemned killer who abducted and stabbed to death an invalid from Henderson in 1986 has died in the medical unit at Arizona’s death row prison in Florence.

Department of Corrections spokesman Andrew Wilder said Graham Saunders Henry, 71, was discovered dead in the medical unit of the facility at 10:30 a.m. on Friday.

Henry and co-defendant Vernon Foote were traveling from California when their vehicle broke down outside Las Vegas.

The pair kidnapped Roy Estes, an elderly and partly disabled man, in Henderson and took his pickup truck. They drove the vehicle south on U.S. Highway 93 to a spot about 30 miles south of the Arizona-Nevada border, where they stabbed Estes and slashed his throat before leaving him to die in the desert, recalled Jace Zack, retired chief deputy Mohave County attorney.

Henry and Foote were arrested a short time later when they were pulled over because an intoxicated Henry was driving Estes’ pickup truck north in the southbound lanes of the highway. They were still in the Mohave County jail in Kingman days later when Estes’ body was discovered and investigators connected them to the killing.

Foote was convicted of attempted murder and other charges and given a 15-year prison sentence for his involvement. Henry was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in 1988.

Zack, the former county attorney, said Henry’s icy-cold demeanor left an impression on those involved in his trial and post conviction relief proceedings in Kingman.

“Of all of the individuals I’ve convicted of murders, he was probably the most chilling individual,” he said.

Wilder said it is believed that Henry died of apparent natural causes and that his body will be transported to the Pinal County Medical Examiner’s office for any assessment or autopsy.

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