HOUSTON- A Houston man accused of strangling his former
girlfriend left his fate in the hands of a Harris County jury and will now
spend the next 65 years in prison.
Jeremy 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 the La Mirage 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
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.”
This is Henderson’s fifth felony conviction involving family
violence, and while on the stand, Henderson testified that not only is the
victim in this case lying, but all the victims in his all previous cases were
County District Attorney’s Office