Convicted cop responds to allegations of perjury
BY JARREL WADE World Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
9/11/12 at 4:02 AM
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A former Tulsa police officer who was convicted in a police corruption case filed a response under seal Friday, explaining to a federal judge why he thinks he should not be held in contempt of court for alleged perjury.
A document filed under seal is not open to the public. However, a judge may order such documents unsealed, if appropriate.
The response by Jeff Henderson was filed in the case of Tony Becknell Jr., who was convicted of drug possession and was scheduled for release from prison in 2014. However, U.S. District Judge James Payne vacated Becknell's sentence in July, and he was released.
In his testimony June 29 in Becknell's petition for release, Henderson identified an informant he said he used to obtain a search warrant leading to Becknell's arrest in March 2005.
Henderson testified that he never documented the informant but added that "I'm just letting you know it's a fact."
"I used him on more than six" investigations, he said. "He was a reliable confidential informant."
Becknell's attorney, Paul DeMuro, filed an affidavit stating that he investigated Henderson's claims regarding the informant. He found that the informant named by Henderson was in jail for several months before and after March 2005, when Henderson testified that the informant provided information by phone and in person in Henderson's car.
Henderson described the man and their interactions on the Becknell case, saying he rode with the informant to Becknell's house, talked on the phone with the informant and that the informant had bought drugs at Becknell's home.
According to a memo filed in Becknell's case, government prosecutors interviewed Henderson after his testimony.
"Henderson said that since he learned that (the informant) was incarcerated at the time, he was wrong, but he could not remember who the informant might have been," according to the government memo.
Henderson told the prosecutors that he didn't have enough time in court to recall the case before he made his statements about the informant, according to the memo.
Becknell is one of at least 45 people who have been freed from prison or had their cases modified as a result of the police corruption probe.
Henderson was convicted last year on six counts of perjury and two counts of civil rights violations for his role in a federal police corruption case. He is serving a 42-month sentence and is assigned to a South Dakota federal prison but is now in the Tulsa Jail due to his role in the Becknell case.
Prosecutors are seeking additional penalties against Henderson on the new perjury allegations. The judge can rule after reviewing Henderson's sealed response, possibly resulting in more jail time or a fine.
The federal investigation of Tulsa police officers and a federal agent began as early as 2008 and resulted in charges against six current or former Tulsa police officers and the federal agent, as well as accusations of criminal behavior against five officers who never faced charges.
Additionally, at least 14 lawsuits have been filed against the city and individual police officers as a result of the police corruption investigation. The city is an active defendant in at least 11 cases and has been dismissed from three. Motions to dismiss the city are pending in several cases, a review of court records shows.
Jarrel Wade 918-581-8367
Jeff Henderson: The former Tulsa police officer was convicted last year on six counts of perjury and two counts of civil rights violations for his role in a federal police corruption case. He is serving a 42-month sentence and is assigned to a South Dakota federal prison but is now in the Tulsa Jail because of his involvement in the Tony Becknell case