OPELIKA, AL (WXTX) – It took the Lee County jury about a half a day of deliberations to come back with a decision saying a Columbus man ran over and killed the sheriff's deputy back in 2009.
Gregory Henderson, 39, is accused of running over and killing Lee County Sheriff's Deputy James Anderson in 2009.
The jury was excused by Judge Jacob Walker until early Wednesday morning. That is when sentencing is expected to begin at 8:30 a.m.
It is believed that the jury will recommend life without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.
Judge Walker can either uphold the jury's recommendations or change them.
The jury began deliberations about an hour before noon 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.
A formal sentencing hearing will be scheduled in a couple of months.
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