Former Murray County Deputy Pleads Guilty To Obstruction

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Michael Henderson pleaded guilty Wednesday in Federal Court at Rome, Ga.,  to obstructing a pending civil rights investigation by tampering with a witness while employed as a Murray County Sheriff’s captain.
“Mr. Henderson violated both the law and the public’s trust when he lied to his fellow law enforcement officers and obstructed a civil rights investigation,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Bottom line, the citizens of Murray County at minimum deserve police officers who obey the laws that they have sworn to enforce.
“The citizens of this state should have every expectation that those who serve do so with integrity and within the bounds of the law,” said Mark F. Giuliano, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office. “The conduct of this now former law enforcement officer, as presented in this case, was clearly not within those standards and the FBI will continue to work with its law enforcement partners in ensuring that the public’s trust is well deserved.”
“The state of Georgia will not tolerate criminal activity by those officials with the duty to enforce its laws,” said Vernon Keenan, GBI Director.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court, sometime in July 2012, then-Captain Henderson received information that a white Dodge vehicle was being used to carry drugs. He passed this information along to other deputies with the Murray County Sheriff’s Office.
Henderson and separately charged former Deputy Sheriff Joshua L. Greeson participated in a traffic stop of the white Dodge car on Aug. 14, 2012. During the stop, Greeson found methamphetamine in a metal can hidden under the wheel well of the car. After finding the drugs, they arrested the driver and owner/ passenger of the vehicle. Shortly thereafter, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) received information that the drugs had been planted on the vehicle by another individual, in an attempt to falsely implicate the car’s owner. As a result, the state drug charges against the owner of the white Dodge were dismissed.
On Aug. 22, 2012, agents from the GBI interviewed Henderson in connection with a civil rights investigation. During the interview, Henderson falsely stated to the GBI agents that he had never told any other members of the Murray County Sheriff’s Office that he had received information that the white Dodge was allegedly carrying drugs. As stated above, Henderson had in fact received information that the white Dodge vehicle carried controlled substances.
On Aug. 31, 2012, Henderson was fired from the Sheriff’s Office.
Henderson, 41, of Murray County, Ga. could receive a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. However, in determining the actual sentence, the court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 31 at 1:30 p.m. before United States District Judge Harold L. Murphy.
This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorneys Jeffrey W. Davis and Michael Herskowitz are prosecuting the case.

Burglary Suspects Arrested By Chance, Due To Malfunctioning Tag Lights

Hamilton County deputies arrested burglary suspects by chance after pulling over a vehicle because of malfunctioning tag lights on July 25. When deputies walked up to the vehicle, they noticed the rear seat passenger making very sudden movements. They also saw him stuff something into a back pack.  While at the window, deputies noticed a large knife lying out in the ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man Arrested On Child Rape Charges

A Chattanooga man was taken into custody after he admitted to police that he raped his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. According to police, the young girl was with her grandmother the following day and told her what her father, Michael Skellenger, had done.  Her grandmother immediately rushed her to the hospital for an examination. They were directed to the Children's ... (click for more)

Senator Bob Corker: An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Scottsboro’s Pat Trammell

I got a warm feeling Tuesday when it was announced Pat Trammell will be among those in the inaugural class of the Jackson County (Ala.) Sports Hall of Fame. When the august group is enshrined at Scottsboro’s Goose Pond Civic Center on Nov. 1, most folks won’t even know who Pat Trammell was but I knew all about him in my very first year as a fledgling sports writer back in 1967 and, ... (click for more)

Recap of 17 Stop, Prep Football Tour

Starting at Soddy Daisy at 7:44 a.m. and leaving Silverdale 14 hours later ( 9:58 p.m.), the fifth annual Chattanoogan.com prep football tour made whistle stops at 17 schools covering 220 miles.   The Chattanooga Jamboree is Aug. 15-16 at Finley Stadium and the season openers are Thurs. Aug. 21   - Cleveland vs. McCallie (Finley Stadium) ... (click for more)

NPSL National Championship To Be Played At Red Bulls Arena

The NPSL announced on Monday that the national championship match between Chattanooga FC and the Red Bulls U23 will be played on Saturday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.  The match will be played following an MLS match between New York Red Bulls and the New England Revolution.   Local fans took to social media to appeal for the game to be played in Chattanooga. ... (click for more)