CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – Former Manchester High student Chad Hensley was sentenced Thursday, for stabbing a classmate in school last year.
Hensley considered the student a rival because they both liked the same girl. He “went door to door trying to find this kid,” students said at the time. When Hensley located his fellow classmate, he stabbed the 17-year-old male in the neck and upper body. The student survived. Hensley was also 17 at the time of the attack.
The judge sentenced Hensley to 20 years with 12 suspended, confirmed defense attorney Cary Bowen. He will serve eight years for the malicious wounding charge, or seven years, considering time served.
Hensley’s attorney Bowen said though it has been reported the attack was over a girl both students were interested in, an even bigger issue was Hensley’s mental state.
“Pretty severe illness. He is a bright young man and he was able to conceal it. It just snapped and overwhelmed him” Bowen said.
In court this week, a neuropsychologist described Hensley as a bright but chronically maladjusted teen. Bowen agreed and said Hensley hid his illness well from loved ones.
For the first time since the stabbing, the former student had a chance to apologize to his victim.
“He turned and bled his heart out about how sorry he was. He told him you did nothing wrong. I did wrong and every day I feel bad for you ” Bowen explained.
Bowen said the judge’s strong stance wasn’t a surprise. “She had to send a message about this and the fact that it was unprovoked. She said part of it was because it happened at a school and we need our kids to feel safe in school” Bowen said.
Hensley was committed to the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center until age 21, for treatment.
When Hensley turns twenty-one he will be transferred to an adult prison facility. At that time, Bowen says he must also go back before the same judge who sentenced him. She will see if he is making progress with treatment and could revisit his case.