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Posted: April 7, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Attorney requests dismissal of charges for J.C. Henderson

An attorney for District 4 County Commissioner J.C. Henderson has filed a motion to have the charges of battery against the commissioner dismissed.

According to a notice of motion hearing dated April 2, John L. Strauss, Henderson’s attorney, is requesting the matter be brought before a judge April 22 at Newton County Superior Court.

The charges against Henderson stem from an arrest on Oct. 10, 2009, after officers from the Covington Police Department were called to his home by his stepson, who reportedly told them he heard his parents fighting and had called 911 at the request of his mother.

When officers arrived they found Henderson’s wife, Sandy, bleeding from the mouth and crying, but she reportedly told them that Henderson had not hit her and that she had hit her mouth on the door while running from her husband.

Three months later she gave a sworn affidavit, saying that she and Henderson did have a verbal altercation on Oct. 10 because she had been drinking at a cookout, came home, and then wanted to leave again which Henderson was allegedly against because she had been drinking. She said in the affidavit that their verbal argument had gotten loud and continued for some time, resulting in her son calling 911.

She alleged that when police arrived, they attempted to get her to say that Henderson had struck her, and when she refused they "threw me up against the car and said they were going to lock me up too if I did not let them take pictures of my mouth."

Sandy’s mother, Louise Flournoy, also gave an affidavit in November and in it swore that she heard her daughter tell police that Henderson did not strike her and that she would be arrested if she did not allow officers to photograph her injured mouth.

In January, Newton County District Attorney Ken Wynne recused his office from the case because the Board of Commissioners pays the salary of the district attorneys. The case was reassigned by the Attorney General to the Piedmont Judicial Circuit.

According to a certificate of service filed by Strauss, he served Piedmont Judicial Circuit District Attorney Brad Smith but as of April 2, he had not yet received a formal noticed that Smith had been appointed to handle the investigation and prosecution of the case.

However Strauss was reportedly contacted by the circuit’s victim assistance coordinator that no preliminary hearing would be held in the case because Henderson is currently out on bond.

Judge Samuel Ozburn will be on the bench April 22, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

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