Jury returns verdict following 2018 “execution style” killing of Port Arthur man

Published 12:06 am Friday, November 19, 2021

A Jefferson County jury reached a verdict today following a four-day court proceeding that focused on a fatal 2018 Port Arthur shooting.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, 33-year-old Port Arthur resident Joshua Henderson has been found guilty for murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

Henderson was convicted of the shooting and killing of Floyd Dergent, 49, of Port Arthur.

Surveillance video at Prince Hall Village Apartments, 914 W. 14th St., showed Henderson shoot the victim and kick him as he was on the ground. According to the D.A.’s office, evidence showed Dergent had been shot in the head and through both legs.

The jury returned its guilty verdict after deliberating for more than three hours.

Henderson chose to go to court for sentencing.

After hearing punishment testimony, 252nd District Court Judge Raquel West sentenced Henderson to life in jail.

Prosecutor Phillip Smith said jury members took their time to view the video, which contained plenty of camera angles, as well as examine photos submitted during trial that were taken from social media showing Henderson posing with a handgun in his waistband.

“This was a senseless and brutal murder,” Smith said. “The family of Floyd Dergent now has closure and they are appreciative of the work of the Port Arthur Police Department and the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.”

Joshua Henderson’s first trial following the 2018 shooting death ended July 15 in a mistrial.

The new trial began Monday.

Port Arthur Police first responded to a report of shots fired at Prince Hall Village Apartments on July 25, 2018.

When officers arrived they found Dergent dead from a gunshot wound.

At the time, officers described the shooting as “execution style,” because the victim couldn’t fight back.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of Henderson, who was located by U.S. Marshals hiding in the trunk of a car in Dallas in November 2018.