Saturday, April 01, 2000

Charges threaten Newport cop's career

Sergeant denies gun allegations

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — Newport Police Sgt. James Brian Henley was released on $10,000 bond Friday after a court appearance, but charges of wanton endangerment, terroristic threatening and spousal assault could mean the end of his law enforcement career.

        Mr. Henley, 36, who joined the Newport Police Department in 1988, pleaded not guilty to all charges during his arraignment Friday in Campbell District Court.

        He was arrested at his home in Dayton, Ky., on Thursday after Dayton police responded to a domestic call and were confronted, officers said, by Mr. Henley with a semiautomatic rifle.

        According to officers at the scene, Mr. Henley pointed the rifle at them from a second-floor window and threatened to fire. Five officers, including Dayton Chief Greg Aylor, were involved in the incident.

        Mr. Henley was arrested inside his home without further incident just four minutes after Dayton officers responded.

        Newport Police Chief Tom Fromme suspended Mr. Henley Friday, pending the outcome of the case. The chief said Mr. Henley was considered a good officer who had gained promotion in his more than 11 years on the department.

        The felony wanton-endangerment charges are the result of pointing the gun at officers, and the terroristic threatening charge is for threatening to shoot.

        Mr. Henley is also charged with fourth-degree assault, accused of punching and slapping his wife, Vickie. Under federal law, a domestic-violence conviction causes the person to lose the right to carry a gun, which would eliminate the possibility of police work.

        Mr. Henley, nephew of former Newport Police Chief Bill Henley, is president of the Newport Fraternal Order of Police.

        He has worked as a patrolman, a detective, a member of the special patrol unit in the Newport Housing Authority, and as an undercover drug enforcement officer.


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