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Posted: October 13, 2009 7:26 p.m.

Commissioner Henderson arrested for battery

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J.C. Henderson

District 4 Commissioner J.C. Henderson will not hold a press conference to discuss his arrest on Saturday evening on charges of battery.

Henderson was arrested after Covington Police Department officers determined there was evidence that he had hit his wife, Sandy Henderson, CPD Lt. Wendell Wagstaff said.

According to the Covington Police Department incident report, the Henderson’s son, Quintarious Henderson, said he heard his parents fighting and then called 911 at the request of his mother, who ran out into the back yard and told him that she thought J.C. was going to put his hands on her.

Officer Dewey Shirah arrived at the home on Puckett Street to find Sandy sitting on the front porch. He asked Sandy what had happened, but she would not provide any information. At one point, Shirah noticed that she was rubbing her left hand as if it had been injured, and he asked her again what happened.

"(Sandy) Henderson began crying and stated that nothing was wrong and nothing had happened," the report said. "I asked her to go to speak to Officer Holden because she was still crying and visibly shaken up."

Shirah questioned J.C. several times, but he would only say "ask her," referring to his wife.

When questioned again, Sandy eventually said that she and J.C. had been in an argument for some time because she had stayed out all night. Shirah again asked her how her lip had been injured.

"She stated several time(s) she didn’t know, but that J.C. didn’t hit her. Sandy then stated she was running away from J.C. to get away from him and she hit her mouth on the front door," the report said. "In my opinion the injury to her mouth was not consistent with someone running into a door."

J.C. Henderson continued to say "ask her" whenever he was questioned and said he didn’t know what had happened.

A picture of Sandy’s mouth was taken and J.C. Henderson was arrested and charged with battery under the Family Violence Act.

J.C. was taken to the Newton County Detention Center, where he was released the same day on $2,500 bond. On Sunday, J.C. said immediately after getting out of jail he and wife took pictures to prove that he didn’t touch her.

He said he planned to hold a press conference on either Monday or Tuesday so he and his wife could tell their story.

"I prayed about it, and I wanted to make sure that local folks get the story. So either Monday or Tuesday, we’ll tell the truth," J.C. said on Sunday. "She’s my wife and I love her … she wouldn’t lie to them.

"(You would think) she would have a swollen face or a black eye or something," J.C. said prior to the CPD press release.

However, on Monday J.C.’s attorney, Public Defender Anthony Carter, said he advised against that and would like to do an investigation before any public conference takes place.

On Sunday, Wagstaff said that the deputies saw enough evidence to arrest J.C. for domestic violence.

"We’re mandated by law, when we find a victim that has been injured and it’s a husband or wife or boyfriend and girlfriend, we’re mandated by law to make an arrest based on the information and evidence gathered. And based on the evidence they found they arrested him," Wagstaff said. "We hate to do it, but we have to do our job."

The Family Violence Act was passed because in many cases wives or girlfriends would not want to accuse their husbands or boyfriends of wrongdoing for fear of the repercussions.

There have been 113 calls made to the CPD from or in reference to the address on Puckett Street from 1997 to Monday of 2009, including nine about family fights, 10 for arguments and 10 for 911 hang-ups. Others included several noise complaints, juvenile problems missing person and animal problem calls, but there was also one call each about a suicide attempt, the discharge of a gun and assault. Detailed narrative reports were only written for a handful of the total calls.

No hearings have yet been scheduled for this case.

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