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Tubbs picked up Henderson. In the car, Tubbs told the detectives, Henderson told him that he'd met Coombs through a prostitute who went by the name Red. Tubbs said Henderson told him, "The white tourist tried to get up on me, so I had to do him."
"We're gonna hold it down," Tubbs says he replied. Tubbs told the detectives that he went back to the apartment, took the gun out of the freezer and hid it at his sister-in-law's house. He told the detectives exactly where they could find the .357 that killed Coombs.
Marinella interrupted the story: "Earlier in your statement, you said Mr. Henderson told you that you needed to get rid of the gun. Why didn't you?"
"Because I knew all of this was going to come back to me sooner or later, and I was going to keep the gun as my ace in the hole so I could get out of it," Tubbs replied.
Police found the gun at the address Tubbs had provided. Kansas City police officers arrested Henderson and charged him with first-degree murder and armed criminal action. He also faced federal drug charges.
After the interview, police brought Tubbs back to Coleman's house, as promised. There, Drug Enforcement Administration agents were waiting to arrest him. While he told his story about the killing, police found, in the bottom compartment of the oven, a brown paper bag containing 494 grams of crack. Tubbs would now face federal drug charges. On the way to be booked, Tubbs scuffled with the DEA agents in their vehicle; they pulled over to call for a KCPD wagon to transport him.
As Tubbs was led away, he wailed, "It's my third strike!"
On November 22, 2005, Henderson's murder trial was a week away. Prosecutor Denise St. Omer was looking over her case file, frustrated because her only link between Henderson and the gun was Tubbs' testimony. The report Holmes had written failed to mention that he'd entered the apartment, so there was no mention of the gun he had found and hidden in the freezer.
St. Omer knew Tubbs could easily be discredited. Tubbs was a twice-convicted felon, facing life in prison if convicted of the drug charges. He had a motive to finger Henderson for the crime. It would be easy enough for Henderson's public defender, Bill Raymond, to label Tubbs the killer.
St. Omer called Holmes to see if he knew anything more.
According to St. Omer, Holmes said he was the officer who recovered the gun and that some of his investigative methods were "a little unorthodox." Holmes explained to her that he had also taken bullets from Henderson's apartment. He still had them. He offered to show St. Omer.
Holmes was off-duty, working security for the Landing Mall at 63rd Street and Troost. St. Omer and her assistant prosecutor, Robert Sanders, went to see Holmes around 5 p.m. on November 22.
Holmes explained that he had forced his way into Henderson's apartment, according to St. Omer and Sanders. (Holmes would later deny that he forced his way in.) Holmes said he'd seen the murder weapon on the floor and put it in the freezer. Because none of these details was written in any of the reports, the prosecutors regarded Holmes with disbelief. He got angry, thinking they were accusing him of lying. He offered to show them the bullets that he had kept for two years in a bag in his patrol car.