Henegan "Sorry" For Killing Two Gulfport Neighbors - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Henegan "Sorry" For Killing Two Gulfport Neighbors

Mark Henegan stood in a Harrison County courtroom Friday morning, turned toward his victims' families, and with tears flowing, said, "I'm sorry." Moments earlier, Henegan admitted he was on a two week crack cocaine binge when he beat and killed 61-year-old Delphia Fitts and 74-year-old Anthony Caranna.

After pleading guilty to the November, 2006 capital murders, a judge sentenced Henegan to consecutive life in prison terms without parole.

"I felt like a failure and I just wanted to end my life," remembered Henegan as he told circuit court judge Steve Simpson some of the details about what happened in November, 2006.

Instead of killing himself, the admittedly drugged up Henegan beat and killed two Broadmoor neighbors he knew nearly his entire life. The wounds on Delphia Fitts body were so bad, her son-in-law told the court, "We had to have a closed coffin."

A teary eyed Henegan took responsibility for both deaths. "If I could change what happened, I would," he testified. "Two beautiful people are gone because of me."

Henegan admitted in court that at the time of the murders, he had been high on crack cocaine for nearly two weeks. However, he never explained why he knocked on two doors in the Broadmoor community, and ultimately killed the two people who invited him into their homes.

Mr. Caranna's ex-wife was one of two family members to speak during the hearing. "Mark Henegan has brutally crushed a part of the lives of Anthony Caranna's children and grandchildren,' she told the court.

Henegan killed Caranna on November 21, 2006.

The next day, he killed Mrs. Fitts. He confess that after killing the 61-year-old woman, he stole her car, and he immediately sold it, for $40 of cocaine. "My mind wasn't in my right state," he tried to explain.

Before sentencing, other family members of Mrs. Fitts and Mr. Caranna put their feelings about Henegan on the record. Nunzio Caranna was the other person to speak on behalf of his dad.

"There are no words that I can say today to describe the pain and agony that we have all emotionally gone through," Nunzio told the judge.

John Jennings spoke for his wife Kim. It was her mother who died on 6th Avenue on November 22, 2006.

"I live everyday with the destruction that was done to my family," Jennings read from a prepared statement.

He never looked at the defendant when he said, "You have no worth to society. You never will have. You're a disgrace to yourself and your family. You are a coward and a thief. I hope your dreams at night are filled with the horrors you inflicted. But most of all, I pray that if there is a just God, that he make you rot in hell."

Gene Fitts took a different approach. At one point, Mrs. Fitts son turned and faced Henegan.

"I'll never forgive the act itself," he said. "But for my mom and for Jesus Christ, I will forgive you."

After Fitts finished with his testimony, he walked past Henegan's brother, and the two embraced. The two lifelong friends were on opposite sides of a courtroom because of the heinous act of Mark Henegan. And until this moment, that put a strain on their relationship.

Before he was taken back to the county jail, and eventually to Parchman, the defendant made one final statement.

"As God as my witness, I'm sorry from the depth of my heart and soul for what I've done. I apologize with all my heart and soul," he said.

Henegan could have been sentenced to death. But earlier this week, the district attorney's office and the defendant agreed to a plea bargain. We're told the victims' families favored the life sentence, so they wouldn't have to go through the agony of a trial or any appeals.

By Brad Kessie

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