June 29, 2013

Sentencing for former Murray officer postponed

From Staff Reports

— A sentencing hearing in federal court for a former Murray County Sheriff’s Office deputy who pleaded guilty to obstruction has been postponed indefinitely.

Joshua Lamar Greeson was scheduled to be sentenced Friday in Rome for his part in a case officials have said centers around a since-resigned judge’s questionable behavior. Weeks earlier, the court postponed a sentencing hearing for Michael Henderson, a former Murray County Sheriff’s Office captain, who also pleaded guilty to obstruction. Both men face up to 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

Henderson is a cousin of former Murray County chief magistrate Bryant Cochran. Cochran resigned from office last summer citing an unrelated reason shortly after a woman whose case was before him accused Cochran of sexually soliciting her in exchange for a favorable ruling.

Cochran has through an attorney denied that charge and denied accusations that he arranged for her to be arrested on a drug charge in an effort to discredit her. The woman, Angela Garmley, was in a vehicle Henderson instructed Greeson to be on the lookout for. Greeson later arrested Garmley, charging her with possession of meth after finding a can of the drug magnetically attached underneath her car.

Clifford J. Joyce, one of Cochran’s tenants, pleaded guilty earlier this month to planting the drugs on Garmley’s car. His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 23 at 1:30 p.m. in federal court in Rome. He could receive up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

Henderson has said through his attorney that he was accused of lying because he told investigators he had not talked with anyone about Garmley’s case when he had. Greeson has said Henderson told him to participate in the cover-up. Henderson’s attorney has said that’s not true.

Efforts to reach the attorneys involved in the case late Friday afternoon were unsuccessful, and working phone numbers for Henderson and Greeson could not be found.