No bond for woman accused of trying to burn down MLK Jr.’s Atlanta birth home

ATLANTA — The woman accused of pouring gasoline and attempting to burn down the Atlanta birth home of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. has been denied bond.

Laneisha Henderson, 26, appeared before a Fulton County judge on Saturday morning where he ruled she would have to stay in jail.

Henderson is charged with criminal attempted arson and criminal attempt to interfere with government property.

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The judge said during her bond hearing that he did not feel he could grant her bond because of her unstable place of residence and the severity of the crime she’s charged with.

Video shared with Channel 2 Action News by a witness shows Henderson dressed in all black and dousing the Auburn Avenue historical site with gasoline.

Two tourists from Utah happened to be in the area and interrupted Henderson.

“She grabbed a lighter and started to come back up the stairs. So, I stood at the stairs and said you can’t do this and blocked her,” witness Zach Kempf explained.


Two brothers and retired NYPD officers, who are also visiting the home, then detained Henderson until Atlanta police could arrive and take her into custody.

“There’s no reason to it and it would have just been gone. So, you know, by blessing we just happened to be there,” Kenneth Dodson, one of the NYPD officers, said.

The historic site is now a museum operated by the National Park Service, so Henderson could face further federal charges.

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Henderson remains in custody at the Fulton County Jail.