Tulare woman sentenced for spousal murder

Pennie Henson Ince to spend life behind bars for murdering husband, eluding capture

By Mid Valley Times Staff
Published November 21, 2023  • 
11:00 am
(Rigo Moran)
(Rigo Moran)

VISALIA – Following a chilling sequence of events that unfolded in Tulare and Fresno County last year, justice has been served against Pennie Henson Ince, who is slated to spend the remainder of her life incarcerated for her husband’s murder.

Ince, 54, was sentenced on the morning of Nov. 15 in the South County Justice Center of the Tulare County Superior Court. It was there she received a life sentence without the possibility of parole from the court for murdering her 65-year-old husband in 2022.

According to reports, the crime first began unfolding on March 6, 2022 at 1:19 p.m., when Ince called the victim’s daughter. Ince claimed that the victim needed an ambulance and abruptly ended the call. Unable to reach Ince or the victim by phone, the daughter went to their residence in east Tulare. Noticing her father’s truck was missing, she assumed he had been taken to the hospital. 

The daughter left to contact hospitals in search of her father and later returned to the residence with a family friend, who was able to pick the lock to the front door to gain entry into the home. They discovered the victim’s lifeless body in the entryway, accompanied by a shotgun found in the living room.

Surveillance footage from a neighbor’s camera showed the victim’s tan truck arriving at the residence at 1:08 p.m. Another camera recorded an audible gunshot at 1:10 p.m. The first camera then captured the truck departing at 1:17 p.m. Evidence of blood spatter at the doorway and pellet impacts suggested the shot had been fired from close range.

Following the murder, the defendant fled the area and was later found to have used the victim’s ATM card to withdraw $900 from an ATM. A cell phone ping placed Ince in Fresno, where the Fresno Police located the victim’s vehicle outside a bar. The license plate on the vehicle had been swapped with one taken from another vehicle. 

Fresno PD attempted to arrest Ince inside the bar, but she became aware of the police presence through the bar’s surveillance system and escaped through the back door. Another cell phone ping led to her location, but her phone had been discarded.

(Tulare County District Attorney's office)

Eventually, on March 8, 2022, Ince was located at a motel in Fresno. The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office and Fresno PD surrounded the motel and ordered her to surrender, which she eventually did, leading to her arrest. Further investigation revealed that Ince had made statements about harming her husband on the day of the murder.

Ince was found guilty of first-degree murder this year on Oct. 18, with the special circumstance of lying in wait and personally using a firearm to cause death. The case was prosecuted by Supervising Deputy District Attorney Adam Clare.

Eventually, on March 8, 2022, Ince was located at a motel in Fresno. The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office and Fresno PD surrounded the motel and ordered her to surrender, which she eventually did, leading to her arrest. Further investigation revealed that Ince had made statements about harming her husband on the day of the murder.

Ince was found guilty of first-degree murder this year on Oct. 18, with the special circumstance of lying in wait and personally using a firearm to cause death. The case was prosecuted by Supervising Deputy District Attorney Adam Clare.

Mid Valley Times Staff