Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic, Darrill Henry Wins a New Trial, But Must Wait in Prison

A New Orleans judge overturned Darill Henry’s conviction and ordered a new trial.

03.20.20 By Daniele Selby

Darrill Henry and his son Darrill Guitroz.

Darrill Henry and his son Darrill Guitroz.

Daranika Guitroz was eight years old and her brother Darrill Guitroz just six when their father was arrested in 2004 and accused of murder in New Orleans, Louisiana. For the majority of their lives, they haven’t always been able to reach their father, Darrill Henry, when they needed him the most — despite Henry’s desire to be there for his children.

Henry, an Innocence Project client, has always maintained his innocence in the murders of an 89-year-old woman and her 67-year-old daughter. And the results of modern DNA testing recently performed on evidence from under the mother’s fingernails excluded Henry as a match, clearly proving his innocence.

Based on these results, Judge Dennis Waldron overturned Henry’s double murder conviction on March 12, and ordered a new trial.

Henry is now awaiting his new trial at the Louisiana State Penitentiary — known as Angola prison — which has suspended all visits for at least a month in light of the coronavirus pandemic, according to officials. So far, no cases of COVID-19 have been reported within the prison itself, but Henry said he is constantly washing his hands to stay healthy because hand sanitizer is not allowed in the prison.