A judge has rejected the arguments of a man convicted of killing his four-year-old son, ruling that despite constitutional concerns, the evidence against him is overwhelming.
Douglas County District Judge James Gleason, presiding in Cass County, has dismissed Ivan Henk request for a new trial. Gleason made the ruling after holding an evidentiary hearing in July.
Henk has been convicted of killing his son, Brendan Gonzalez, in 2003.
Gleason concluded the evidence against Henk was overwhelming even after blood evidence planted by discredited Douglas County crime scene investigator David Kofoed was thrown out. The judge ruled Henk suffered no actual prejudice from the claimed constitutional error.
Brendan’s body was never found, even though Henk led investigators to a dumpster in Bellevue where he claimed to have dumped the body after confessing in court that he had killed the boy.
The Nebraska Supreme Court ordered an evidentiary hearing after it came to light evidence had been planted in the case.
Henk is serving a life sentence at the Lincoln prison after pleading guilty to avoid the death penalty.
Brendan was reported missing from his home in Plattsmouth on January 6th of 2003. Searchers scoured the Sarpy County landfill for a month in the summer of 2003, but never found a body.