August 31, 2012

Second sheriff’s office employee fired

Rachel Brown
rachelbrown@daltoncitizen.com

— The Murray County Sheriff’s Office has fired a deputy based on a GBI investigation that shows he gave “false statements during a criminal investigation,” officials said.

Sheriff Howard Ensley declined to provide details because the investigation is ongoing, but he said Mike Henderson, a captain in the sheriff’s office and a cousin of former Murray County Chief Magistrate Bryant Cochran, was fired Friday morning.

Henderson was on standard three days paid administrative leave as the GBI investigated allegations someone planted drugs on a car belonging to Angela Garmley, a witness who accused Cochran of soliciting her for sexual favors. Through his attorney, Cochran has denied those charges.

Garmley’s accusations, however, sparked a series of inquiries that eventually led to Cochran resigning, the deputy who arrested Garmley being fired, and now Henderson losing his job.

Ensley said no one else in his department is being investigated in connection with the incident at this time.

“We are still cooperating with the GBI,” he said.

A message left for Ringgold attorney Larry Stagg, who is representing Henderson, wasn’t immediately returned on Friday. Stagg has said in previous interviews his client denies any wrongdoing in regard to Garmley and was only involved in the arrest as the closest available backup to deputy Josh Greeson who arrested Garmley, a friend who was driving her and Garmley’s husband. Joe Garmley went to jail on an obstruction charge, but District Attorney Bert Poston said he dismissed the drug charges against Garmley and Jason Southern based on GBI evidence.

Earlier this week, Ensley fired Greeson. A phone number for Greeson could not be found, and it was not known if he had an attorney.