Joplin man charged with murdering wife, raping co-worker

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) -- After an Oklahoma woman died of injuries suffered in an attack last week, her estranged husband was charged Monday with first-degree murder as well as with a sexual assault on another woman.

Willie Hendrix, 26, of Joplin, had initially been charged with first-degree domestic assault with intent to cause serious physical injury in the attack that took place at his apartment on Dec. 22.

His estranged wife, Kathrine Hendrix, 30, of Quapaw, Okla., died Wednesday at a hospital in Springfield. An autopsy showed the death resulted from lack of oxygen to the brain due to strangulation.

Jasper County prosecutor Dean Dankelson said the original assault charge will be dismissed.

Dankelson on Monday also charged Hendrix with forcible rape and forcible sodomy of a woman who had gone to the apartment with his estranged wife.

Police have said that Kathrine Hendrix got a call from her estranged spouse asking her to come to his apartment. The other woman, a co-worker, accompanied her and waited in the car while she went inside.

Willie Hendrix later went to the front door and motioned for the co-worker to come inside, where she was sexually assaulted, Police Lt. Carl Francis said last week.

Hendrix was being held in the Jasper County Jail on $250,000 bond.

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