HOUSTON (Covering Katy News) – Jeremy Henderson says he did not attempt to strangle his girlfriend. He also says everyone lied when he was convicted 5 times of family violence. His lack of remorse and failure to stop his bad behavior left a Harris County jury with very few options.
He was sentenced to 65 years in prison after leaving his fate in the hands of jurors.
Henderson, 38, pled not guilty to allegations of abuse by the victim. He was charged with the second-degree felony of assault of a family member by intentionally or recklessly impeding breath or circulation, with a previous conviction for the same crime. On the stand, he proclaimed his innocence and denied having ever hurt her.
She testified against him in the four-day trial, describing how Henderson hit and choked her during their six-month relationship, but when he wrapped his hands around her neck in February 2017 she thought she “was going to die.” She explained to the court the two met at a Hotel to figure out if they should try to fix their relationship. However, not too long into the conversation, Henderson began punching and choking her until she blacked out. When she regained consciousness, she says he choked her again, then grabbed her phone and debit cards and left the hotel. She reluctantly called an ambulance and filed a police report.
“Very often, victims of abuse don’t want to come forward for any number of reasons—love, fear, both,” Assistant District Attorney Emily Patton said. “But she saw the importance of holding him accountable, not just for her safety but for any other woman who might encounter him.”
Despite filing charges and testifying against Henderson, the victim admitted to the jury she still loves him- a conflict many victims struggle to overcome. Family Criminal Law Division Clinical Social Worker Leeja Thomas, LCSW, testified to this fact.
“What we see with the cycle of violence in this case and in so many like it, is after an altercation there is the belief and the hope it will never happen again. But, sometimes it does. And batterers know exactly how to manipulate their victims based on love and fear, convincing them things will change.”
Jurors convicted Henderson in just over an hour. He elected they deliberate his sentence, as well. ADA Patton credits the victim’s cooperation and Henderson’s lack of remorse with the 65-year sentence.
“It was not easy for her to come forward and testify, but because of her courage he will not be able to do this to anyone else.”