Deadly workplace stabbing suspect charged with murder

William Henderson
William Henderson's Jan. 11, 2017 mug shot from the Cass County jail.

MASON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A man who allegedly stabbed a co-worker to death at a Cass County business has been charged with open murder.

William Lee Henderson, 23, was arraigned Thursday afternoon. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

The attack happened around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Ameri-Kart plastic injection molding plant on Grange Street in Mason Township, near Cassopolis.

Ameri-Kart
A Jan. 11, 2017 courtesy photo shows Ameri-Kart in Mason Township, near Cassopolis. (WNDU)

Deputies say 24-year-old Jan Carlos Velazques Mendez and Henderson, both of Elkhart, Ind., were on a break when they started fighting. Witnesses told deputies they thought it was a fist fight until they saw Mendez bleeding from the neck area and realized that the suspect had a knife. Witnesses say Mendez left the break area to get away from the suspect. The suspect went into another area of the business where he was detained by other employees until deputies arrived.

Mendez was treated on scene by first responders but died from his injuries, according to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office. It’s unclear what led up to the fight.

The sheriff’s office says Mendez was originally from Puerto Rico but recently moved to Elkhart, Indiana. An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday.