Lee County jury recommends life sentence in deputy killing - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Lee County jury recommends life sentence in deputy killing

Gregory Henderson, a Georgia-native, is accused of running over and killing Lee County sheriff's deputy James Anderson in 2009. Gregory Henderson, a Georgia-native, is accused of running over and killing Lee County sheriff's deputy James Anderson in 2009.
Deputy James Anderson Deputy James Anderson

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) – A jury has recommended Gregory Henderson be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Judge Jacob Walker can overturn the jury's recommendation of life without the possibility of parole. He has done it before in the Courtney Lockhart capital murder case where a jury unanimously recommended life and Judge Walker sentenced him to death for the murder of Lauren Burk.

Henderson, 39, is accused of running over and killing Lee County Sheriff's Deputy James Anderson in 2009.  He was found guilty of capital murder after the jury deliberated for almost half a day Tuesday.

Henderson looked surprisingly calm inside the courtroom Tuesday morning as he was escorted out to await the verdict in another room.

As he walked out, he acknowledged several members of his family and friends that are here supporting him.

The widow of Deputy James Anderson was surrounded by her family, friends and a courtroom full of law enforcement officers from the Lee County Sheriff's Office, Auburn Police Department and the Opelika Police Department.

Defense Attorney, Jeremy Armstrong told the jury Tuesday in his closing statements that his client did do something wrong. However, he says the defendant, Henderson, did not have the intent needed for capital murder. Armstrong added Henderson should be convicted on one of the lesser charges.

In closing, the assistant district attorney told the jury voluntary intoxication is never a defense to a charge unless it is so extreme that it rises to the level that the defendant is no longer conscious that he is committing a crime.  She said, Henderson appropriately followed and obeyed commands just after the incident when Deputy Katie Bonham was taking him into custody. The assistant district attorney added Henderson was not impaired and he knew the difference between right and wrong.

He will be formally sentenced by Judge Walker on January 31st.

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