A 45-year-old Oakhurst man, Jason Jerome Henderson, died Aug. 6, after being stabbed during an altercation in the lower parking lot of the Silver Creek Shopping Center at 40879 Highway 41.
Multiple Madera County Sheriff Department investigators are actively working the case, and it is unclear what the motive was for the attack. As of Tuesday afternoon, department spokesman Cmdr. Bill Ward said it was still too early in the investigation to have a lot of details, however investigators are looking into the possibility that the incident is related to a conflict between two motorcycle groups.
Others, who identified themselves as associates of the victim, have told investigators they didn’t know who stabbed Henderson.
According to Ward, the incident was first reported at about 2:50 p.m. last Saturday when a call was received by the sheriff’s office about a severely injured person at the scene.
A deputy was in the area and was able to arrive at the scene within three to four minutes of the call. Upon the deputy’s arrival, witnesses were performing CPR to Henderson near the north end of the parking lot. The deputy continued CPR but those attempts to save Henderson’s life were unsuccessful.
Investigators made contact with 10 to 12 witnesses the day of the stabbing, with most being uncooperative with law enforcement.
U.S. Forest Service law enforcement personnel were called to assist deputies with securing the crime scene, which was cleared about 9 p.m. that night after detectives gathered evidence. Investigators from the Madera County District Attorneys office are also looking into homicide.
The sheriff’s department has asked that anyone with information about the Aug. 6 stabbing call the sheriff’s office, (559) 675-7770, or Valley Crime Stoppers, (559) 498-STOP (7867).
First murder in Mountain Area in three years
The murder of Henderson is the first homicide case in Eastern Madera County in the past three years. Between Jan. 1, 2015, and Aug. 9, 2016, there has been 11 murders in the Valley portion of the county.
The last arrest for murder in the Mountain Area occurred in September 2013, when Marc McMurrain, then 35, and his wife Jennifer, 32, were taken into custody for suspicion of murder and accessory to murder in the death of Marc’s 29-year-old brother after the brother’s decomposed body was found at McMurrain’s shared home on Willow Creek Drive in North Fork. Marc McMurrain is serving 22 years, and his wife is serving eight years in state prison.
In September 2014, a 50-year-old Oakhurst man was killed during a fight in the backyard of his home in Broadview Terrace with a 39-year-old friend. After an investigation, it was determined the 39-year-old acted in self defense and no charges were filed.
In October 2014, a 62-year-old North Fork man was arrested for attempted murder after entering the home of his ex-girlfriend armed with a shotgun. He fired two shots in the home, with the ex-girlfriend suffering minor injuries. The man was sentenced to seven years in prison.
In January of 2015, two North Fork men, one 21 and the other 19, were arrested for allegedly stabbing a 30-year-old man outside his residence on Road 222. The victim made a full recovery and the two defendants were prosecuted and sentenced to jail.
In February of 2015, a 33-year-old was arrested for felony domestic violence and attempted murder. He was convicted and sentenced to an 18-month in-patient program.
This past January, a 22-year-old North Fork man turned himself in to authorities after firing several shots outside a North Fork bar during a fight. He was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and is set for a trial-setting hearing Sept. 15, in Madera Superior Court.