Man indicted after election sentenced to 6 months
Mar. 08, 2018
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A man elected to serve as a district Attorney in Alabama has been sentenced to six months in jail for perjury.
Charles Todd Henderson never took office as the Jefferson County District Attorney after being elected in 2016. He was indicted on the perjury charge and suspended before he could take office. The Birmingham News reports that Henderson, who was convicted in October, was sentenced Thursday.
Prosecutors said Henderson lied in a 2016 divorce case. Questions touched on his role as the legal advocate for a child in the case, and whether he had a romantic relationship with the mother. The attorney general's office said he lied about the relationship, concealing a conflict of interest when he was supposed to be a neutral guardian for the child.
Joe Espy, a defense attorney, said he was disappointed at the sentence. A defense brief said Henderson had been punished enough.
"As a result of this conviction, Defendant was removed from a very hard-earned, prestigious position; removed entirely from his chosen profession, his future employability has been severely impacted because he is now and will forever be a felon; and Defendant's reputation has been irreparably damaged," Henderson's brief states. "Put simply, he has been severely punished already."
The state Attorney General's Office painted a darker picture of Henderson in its memorandum on the case.
"Henderson acted as the proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing by offering himself as a neutral guardian to a child who very much needed one, when in fact, .... Henderson intended to do whatever it took to help the child's mother — his girlfriend — regardless of the child's best interests.
Henderson countered in his brief that "There is nothing in the evidence presented in the instant case, nor in the domestic case, that supports this statement."
Several people submitted letters in support of Henderson, including local attorney Martin Weinberg. "Charles is a good man. The whole chain of events that lead to today's outcome is extremely unfortunate. Our prayers are with him and his family at this time," said Weinberg, who attended today's sentencing.
Information from: The Birmingham News, http://www.al.com/birminghamnews