Lakeland, FL White couple 63 & 67 found stabbed to death in bedroom during random negro attack


Senior News Editor since 2011

'Absolutely horrific:' Former Lakeland commissioner, husband killed in random act, police say
Marcelle Waldon, 36, arrested

updated 8:38 AM, Nov 12, 2020

LAKELAND, Fla. — Lakeland Police say a former city commissioner and her husband were killed in what appears to be a random attack.

According to Assistant Chief Sam Taylor, David Henderson, 63, and his wife Edith L. Henderson, 67, were found stabbed to death in the master bedroom of their Lake Morton home after police were called for a wellness check around 5:50 p.m. on Tuesday.

Taylor said at a press conference on Thursday that Edith's son called after he didn't hear back from her during the day. Taylor said the son went to the home and noticed things out of place, so he left and called the police.

Edith, formerly Edith Yates, served as a Lakeland City Commissioner from 2006 until 2018.

On Wednesday night, police arrested Marcelle Waldon, 36, of Lakeland. Police say he's charged with 10 felony counts, including first-degree murder.


Taylor described the crime scene as "absolutely horrific." He said a random act like this is "extremely rare" and something he's seen little of during his 32-year career.

At this time, police say there's no evidence to believe Waldon knew the couple. Police say a source led them to Waldon.

According to Taylor, the source described items that were taken from the home, like jewelry and personal items.

Taylor said a vehicle was also missing from the home and was later found set on fire in a field in another part of town.

When police responded, they found the oven on as well as all the gas burners. Taylor said they believe Waldon tried to set the home on fire.

Detectives believe Waldon got into the home through an unlocked or unsecured door. They say there was no sign of forced entry.

Taylor said authorities believe David was in the process of setting up breakfast after picking up take-out from a local restaurant.

According to Taylor, the food was still in styrofoam containers and inside a plastic bag on a table in the kitchen. He said plates, silverware and drinks were set up for two on the table.

According to Taylor, police believe Edith was killed while David was picking up food.

Waldon was still in the home when David came home.

Taylor said they believe David went upstairs to check on his wife, and a struggle followed between him and Waldon that resulted in David being killed.

The family released a statement, which Taylor read at the press conference, thanking everyone at the department and expressing their grief over the tragedy.


BARTOW — Accused Lake Morton killer Marcelle Waldon has left a lifetime of violence and damage in his wake, according to court records and Ledger interviews with his family.

ARREST STORY:Career criminal Marcelle Waldon charged in murders of former Lakeland city commissioner Edie Yates and her husband David Henderson

Waldon's former girlfriend and the mother of two of his children said he has long heard voices telling him to kill people. She also said that he has repeatedly raped her daughter, who is now 12. His sister also told The Ledger that Waldon molested her beginning when she was five years old. While police were called, he has never been arrested for, charged with or convicted of those allegations. Because of the sexual assault allegations, The Ledger is not naming either woman.

Lakeland Assistant Police Chief Sam Taylor holds up a photo of Marcelle Waldon who was arrested for 10 felonies, including two counts of first-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of former Lakeland city commissioner Edie Yates and her husband David Henderson, during a press conference on Thursday.

ORIGINAL STORY:Police: Former city commissioner, husband killed in Lakeland home

On Thursday, Waldon, 36, was arrested and charged with 10 felonies, including two counts of first-degree murder in the brutal stabbing deaths of former Lakeland city commissioner Edie Yates and her husband David Henderson at their Lake Morton Drive home.

Marcelle Waldon booking mug

Former girlfriend​

Waldon's former girlfriend, 38, said she began dating him when she was 23 and pregnant with her oldest child by another man. When that daughter was 8 years old, she claims the girl told her that Waldon had been sexually assaulting her.

"I was with him until (my daughter) told me that — I called the police when she told me that," the former girlfriend said. "He definitely did it — multiple times. He told her that if she told me, he would kill her family so she would have to live without them."

FACEBOOK VIDEO:Watch replay: Lakeland Police press conference on arrest in double homicide

She said a group of investigators interviewed her daughter, who would not tell the gathering of strangers what Waldon had done to her. Because of that, she said, he was never charged with the crime.

The former girlfriend called Waldon a paranoid schizophrenic, although one who is smart and could be charming at times.

"He was extremely intelligent — his mom raised him with morals and values. He was extremely deceiving and very convincing. Most people like that, who are monsters, are extremely charismatic, kind people. He knew how to act around people when he wanted to," she said. "I have a gun in my house for a reason and it’s for him. He scares me, he’s crazy, he’s not all there."

The former girlfriend described an incident when Waldon was 13 years old, when he broke into a neighbor's apartment. She said he told her about it years later.

Suspect in Polk double murder burglarized Publix heiress’ home two days earlier, police say​

Police say Marcelle Waldon used a tool to pry into Julia Jenkins Fancelli’s home. Two days later, he killed a former Lakeland commissioner and her husband, authorities say.

Marcelle Waldon was arrested and charged with 10 felonies, including first-degree murder in the deaths of David Henderson, 63, and Edith Yates Henderson, 67. She is a former Lakeland city commissioner. He also is accused in another burglary.

Marcelle Waldon was arrested and charged with 10 felonies, including first-degree murder in the deaths of David Henderson, 63, and Edith Yates Henderson, 67. She is a former Lakeland city commissioner. He also is accused in another burglary. [ Florida Department of Corrections ]
  • Kimberly C. MooreThe Ledger

Published Dec. 9, 2020|Updated Dec. 9, 2020
LAKELAND — A Lakeland Police Department report shows that the accused killer of Edie Yates and David Henderson allegedly popped a window lock at the home of Publix heiress Julia Jenkins Fancelli and reached inside to take three pieces of a sterling silver tea set, never setting foot in the Lake Hollingsworth area home.
Related: PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF THE MURDERS: Man killed former Lakeland commissioner, husband in random act, police say

The report states that the alarm went off at the home on Jefferson Avenue about 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 8. The alarm company then called the home’s housekeeper, Loretta Long, who responded to the residence a short while later. Long, who has worked for the Fancellis for more than 30 years, unlocked a door into the kitchen and turned off the alarm, but she noticed a four-pronged gardening tool in a breezeway that was not there when she left the home on Friday night. The tool was kept in a pool pump room.

Police now believe Marcelle Jerrill Waldon, 36, used the tool to pry the wooden window frame away from the glass, causing the glass to splinter and a lock to pop off into the home’s dining room. The lock was found on the floor.

Long called the police about 10:30 a.m., and they responded immediately.
“After the window was open, the suspect(s) reached inside (and) stole approximately three pieces of sterling silver from a tea set on a sterling tray on top of a table in front of the window,” officer Julia Raebig wrote in her Nov. 11 report. “It doesn’t appear the suspect(s) went through the window into the home as the alarm was activated and there were no indications anyone had been in the home. Other antiques on the same table were still in place and would have been moved or possibly damaged had the suspect(s) climbed through the window.

Nothing in the home was out of place or damaged, other than the wood on the window glass.”
No fingerprints were found in the pump room or on the window. Long said there have been workers on the property lately, and while the Fancellis have used the same companies for years, the workers may have changed.
“Someone knew the property was unoccupied,” Raebig wrote in the report.

The Fancellis divide their time between Lakeland and Italy. Their son, Gregory Fancelli, said via text message Tuesday that he and his family are “still taken aback from what has happened to Edie and David and knowing those same people had tried to enter my parents’ house.” He added that security changes are being made at the home.

The Fancellis also own a neighboring home, and Long said several potted plants have been stolen from there recently, along with window screens.
The police report lists the silver pieces as worth about $8,000, while damage to the window was estimated at $7,000.

Long’s son, Schuyler Long, also works for the family, but was unable to access the home’s security cameras at the time of the incident. He has since told Fancelli that he found a shot of one man leaving the property “on a girl’s bicycle...dressed like the Unabomber with latex gloves.”

On Dec. 1, a Polk County grand jury indicted Waldon on charges of felony burglary of a dwelling, dealing in stolen property, false verification of ownership to a secondhand dealer and grand theft in the Fancelli burglary. The grand jury report says Waldon sold the silver pieces to Lloyd’s of Lakeland on Nov. 9.

The Hendersons were killed in their Lake Morton home the morning of Nov. 10. Investigators say Waldon entered the home through an unlocked door while David Henderson made a 20-minute round trip to Fat Jack’s to buy breakfast for himself and his wife. They say Waldon forced Yates Henderson, possibly at gunpoint, to make out two $5,000 checks to him. Investigators say the couple were repeatedly stabbed.

A public memorial service is planned for the Hendersons on Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Frances Langford Promenade at Lake Mirror. The family is encouraging mask-wearing and social distancing. Todd and Sarah Baylis and Will Henderson respectfully ask that, in lieu of flowers, people donate to a charity of their choice in memory of their parents.

Police say Waldon took a jewelry box and jewelry, the couple’s cellphones, at least one credit card from Henderson, along with Henderson’s Audi A6 after Waldon turned on all the gas burners on the stove in a failed attempt to set the house on fire. They say he did set the Audi on fire that night after returning to the Lake Morton neighborhood and seeing police activity. They say he also tried to cash one of the checks at Amscot on Memorial Boulevard at about 1 p.m. the day of the killings, providing store employees with his Florida identification card, his fingerprint and his signature.

The grand jury also indicted Waldon in the Hendersons’ deaths, the burglary of their home, the theft of the car, the attempted arson of the home and the arson of the car. He remains in the Polk County Jail without bail.

A friend of Waldon’s, Jarvis Michael Collins, 37, is charged with six felonies, including being an accessory after the fact to first-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and dealing in stolen property. Police say he pawned several pieces of jewelry that belonged to Yates Henderson. Collins remains in jail, with his bail set at $135,000.

--By Kimberly C. Moore, The Ledger
Last edited:

Updated: 7:44 AM EST January 5, 2021

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LAKELAND, Fla. — "Absolutely horrific." That's how the Lakeland Police described the scene in November where a former Lakeland city commissioner and her husband were found dead.

Now, prosecutors say they are seeking the death penalty for the man responsible.

Marcelle Waldon, 36, is accused of killing former Lakeland city commissioner Edith L. Henderson, 67, and her husband David Henderson, 68, at their home near Lake Morton.

Police said they were stabbed to death.

Officers said they were doing a welfare check when they found the couple.

A detective said they believe David had gone out to get breakfast and was setting it up downstairs. Unbeknownst to him, his wife had been killed upstairs inside their master bedroom. Police say at some point, David went upstairs and found Edith, then struggled with Waldon and was killed.

Waldon then stole one of the couple's cars, and officers later found it on fire in a field off Oregon Avenue, police said. During the news conference, police also said it is possible Waldon had attempted to burn the house down because they found the gas stove and all the burners on.

Police say Waldon denied being inside the house. He was arrested at the Relax Inn on Lakeland Hills Boulevard.

Officers believe the crime was random and have not found a connection between Waldon and the couple.

Waldon is charged with 10 felonies related to the case.

Edith served as a Lakeland city commissioner from 2006 until the beginning of 2018.