Guilty plea for man accused of beating victim with golf club in grisly Anderson Twp murder

Anderson Twp home of man found dead by deputies. (Source: FOX19 NOW Stef DiPietrantonio)
Anderson Twp home of man found dead by deputies. (Source: FOX19 NOW Stef DiPietrantonio)

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - The man accused in a grisly Anderson Township murder pleaded guilty to the crime Monday.

Thomas Schaffner was immediately sentenced to 15 years to life in a mandated sentence for the death of Anderson Township resident Steven Henderson, Sr. Schaffner will be eligible for parole after 15 years.

Hamilton County deputies performing a welfare check found Henderson, Sr., then 57, dead inside his Honeywood Court home in 2017.

Schaffner was arrested and charged with aggravated murder and aggravated robbery in the case. According to court documents, Schaffner admitted to going to Henderson's home to "sell the victim crystal methamphetamine as well as to have sex with the victim."

Schaffner said the incident started as a verbal altercation. He then struck Henderson in the head with a golf club, "dazing the victim briefly," the affidavit states.

Officials say Schaffner proceeded to "bound the victim's wrists and feet as the victim pleaded with him not to kill him."

Schaffner continued to beat the victim with items in the home "until he no longer moved or spoke," court documents show. He then ransacked the residence to make it appear as a robbery.

The suspect took numerous electronics from the residence before pouring gasoline and acetone throughout the home, as well as igniting the stove and oven. Documents state the suspect "placed papers on the stove and inside the oven in an attempt to burn the house, evidence as well as the victim."

Schaffner then fled the scene in the victim's 2002 Toyota Camry with the stolen electronics, according to authorities. The stolen Camry was located on West 3rd Street by Cincinnati Fire. Schaffner burned the car as well to further destroy evidence and impede the murder investigation, court documents state.

Hamilton County Police had been called to the Honeywood Court home several times for various incidents, including domestic violence, mental issues, and assault with injuries.

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