A California man who murdered his girlfriend as she was trying to break up with him has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
Gregory Stephens, 39, pleaded no contest to second-degree murder earlier this month for the September 2020 shooting of his girlfriend Kellie J. Henry, 51, Mercury News reports.
Stephens shot Henry “numerous” times in a home at a rural ranch property in Livermore, located in the outskirts of San Francisco, The Pleasanton Weekly reported last year.
Relatives had called 911 after Stephens contacted them in a suicidal state, threatening to end his life after confessing to shooting Henry. When deputies arrived at the ranch, they found Henry laying motionless on the ground while Stephens was spotted moving in and out of the house. A two-hour standoff then ensued. Members of the sheriff's crisis intervention unit talked to Stephens, who was armed and owned several firearms, via phone several times before he finally surrendered.
Photo: Alameda County Sheriff's Office
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Department referred to Henry as Stephens’ “domestic partner,” following his arrest. The couple had been together for about a decade when the violence erupted.
“The victim was in the process of ending [the] relationship with suspect,” Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ray Kelly told The Pleasanton Weekly last year.
Henry is remembered as a kind and devoted friend, mother and grandmother.
Friend Alysse Gaudenz told local outlet The Independent last year that her “kindness was infectious.”
“She went out of her way to make sure I felt like I was welcomed, and it meant more to me than anyone could know,” she said. "It was who she was; it was obvious she cared about people. Kellie had a way of just making you happy and a personality you were drawn to.”
Noriene Lumpe Butterfield, Henry’s former coworker, told the outlet that she “lived for” her children and granddaughter.
“She was just a ray of sunshine,” she said. “I don’t know anybody that ever said one bad thing about her.”