Cambria man faces life in prison for stabbing half brother to death

newsroom@thetribunenews.comNovember 6, 2013 

Brandon Henslee, left, looks at his attorney, Fred Foss, during his trial for murder Thursday, Sept. 12.

JOE JOHNSTON — jjohnston@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

A Cambria man found guilty Sept. 23 of stabbing his half brother in the head 20 times with a screwdriver faces up to life in prison when he’s sentenced Nov. 13.

Brandon Henslee, 24, was convicted of killing Tyler Hanks, 20, at their home in August 2012. Hanks’ body was found under a tree a half-mile from the house.

During the trial, prosecution witnesses described Hanks as a methamphetamine dealer in a house where meth use was common.

Some witnesses said he looked out for Henslee, who had a history of mental illness. Their stepfather, Mike Coffin, said Hanks occasionally beat up his older brother when Henslee was “out of line.”

Deputy District Attorney Lee Cunningham relied on eyewitness testimony and DNA evidence to suggest Henslee was the killer.

After Hanks vanished, two witnesses, including Coffin, said they saw Henslee rinsing out a green yard waste container filled with a large amount of blood. A baseball bat found with Hanks’ blood on it was also determined to have Henslee’s DNA on the handle.

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