Federal judge to rule in former officer perjury accusation
BY JARREL WADE World Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
12/18/12 at 3:13 PM
Closing arguments are in and now the case involving accusations of perjury against former Tulsa Police Officer Jeff Henderson is in a federal judge’s hands.
Monday night was the deadline for final arguments in the case before U.S. District Judge James Payne before he rules on what is alleged to be perjurious testimony by Henderson in June.
Henderson testified in the petition for the release of Tony Becknell Jr., identifying an informant Henderson said he used to obtain the search warrant that led to Becknell’s arrest in March 2005.
Becknell’s attorney, Paul DeMuro, later showed that the man Henderson identified as an informant was in the Tulsa Jail during the time Henderson said he rode around with the man and gained the information for the search warrant.
The World is omitting the name of the alleged informant to protect his identity.
Becknell was released from prison, and his sentence was vacated.
In closing arguments, Henderson’s attorney argues Henderson honestly thought he was naming the correct informant, who he had allegedly used on a nearly-identical case a year earlier.
“The fact that (the informant) was the informant in 2004 rather than 2005 was simply a mistake,” according to Henderson’s closing argument. “It was an error. It was not perjury and was not intended to obstruct justice.”
Henderson was convicted last year in the police corruption case on six counts of perjury and two counts of civil rights violations. He is serving a 42-month sentence and is assigned to a federal prison in South Dakota.
The prosecution’s closing arguments focused on Henderson’s emphatic tone in his alleged perjurious testimony, calling Henderson a “professional witness … who knows full well the gravity of taking an oath.”
Read more in Wednesday's Tulsa World.
Former Tulsa Police Officer Jeff Henderson