Convicted Child Killer Will Get A New Hearing
It's a surprising turn of events that involves a confessed killer, police corruption and a mother who fears old wounds may never heal.
It's a surprising turn of events that involves a confessed killer, police corruption and a mother who fears old wounds may never heal. Video by kmtv.comvideo
Omaha, NE -- A convicted child killer will have another day in court. It's a surprising turn of events that involves a confessed killer, CSI corruption and a mother who fears old wounds may never heal.
Ivan Henk was convicted of killing his son 4-year old Brendan Gonzalez. Now the Nebraska Supreme Court Thursday granted Henk an evidentiary hearing after he argued that Douglas County CSI Commander David Kofoed violated his civil rights by "planting" blood evidence.
"I really feel badly for the family of Brendan Gonzalez and I really believe this is really an injustice. Really, I mean he confessed to this thing," said Kofoed Thursday.
On a video tape, Ivan Henk is seen confessing how he killed his son. Without emotion Henk said, "I decapitated him."
Now seven years after Henk signed a plea deal admitting his guilt, Brendan's mother Rebecca is bracing to go through it all again. "I think it's a total fluke and this would never happen. I have to prepare myself just in case right," said Rebecca Gonzalez.
During his murder trial, Ivan Henk repeatedly confessed, even shouted why he did it. "Brendan was the Antichrist child," he screamed from an elevator.
Henk told investigators which dumpster he left Brendan's body in. Douglas County Crime Lab Commander Kofoed collected blood evidence from there. Blood Ivan Henk claims Kofoed planted.
Kofoed insists, "I never planted evidence and I had no reason to. He took a deal in 2005. He took a plea and said, 'I'm guilty.'"
In 2010 a judge convicted Kofoed of planting evidence in a double murder case in Cass County. Court documents from the Supreme Court of Nebraska say there's "clear convincing evidence...Kofoed falsified evidence in Henk's case". The ruling adds if Henk's claim is true it's an "infringement of his rights".
Henk's attorney argued DNA evidence could not possibly have been preserved in good condition over a six month period--because of bacteria, rain, severe heat and constant use of the dumpster.
Kofoed still insists he is not guilty of ever planting evidence in any case. He served his 2-year sentence and said the ruling "isn't about justice. This is a waste of time".
Brendan's mom believes in justice, knowing there's more evidence than Brendan's blood from the dumpster that proves Henk's guilt. "The evidence just says he was in the dumpster that's all. The evidence in the car. The blood on Ivan. The blood in my apartment. The blood in the garage. That was the evidence that really sealed it all," explained Rebecca.
While she never met Kofoed, she doesn't like him. "I just have a very high level of disgust for the man," said the mother.
Adding because his conviction means her son's killer could go free.
Investigators searched the Douglas County Landfill looking for little Brendan's body. He has never been found. On July 30th Rebecca will mark her son's birthday. Brendan would have been 14-years old. Rebecca has left his memorial page active on-line. She will leave it up so her son will always be remembered.
Brendan's case isn't the only one jeopardized. Kofoed welcomes all of those cases to be examined again, believing the convictions will still be up-held. A hearing date for Henk's case has not been set.
Reported By: Liz Dorland, email@example.com