Suspect in officer’s shooting had been in and out of prison

Posted at 2:15 PM, Jan 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-19 00:07:18-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- The man accused of shooting and killing Unified Police Officer Doug Barney had a lengthy criminal history that had taken him in and out of state and federal prisons for drug and weapons violations.

A police union is questioning why Cory Lee Henderson, 31, was even allowed to be released, given his criminal history.

"It's so upsetting," said Shante Johnson with the Utah State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police. "It's upsetting to know he was a dangerous person and we were aware of it."

Johnson is the widow of Draper Police Sgt. Derek Johnson, who was shot and killed making a traffic stop in 2013. She is now acting as a spokeswoman for the Fraternal Order of Police.

"We need to really analyze, if our jails are too full, why are we releasing these people?" she told FOX 13.

A jail booking mugshot of Cory Lee Henderson (courtesy Unified Police Dept.)

A jail booking mugshot of Cory Lee Henderson (courtesy Unified Police Dept.)

Court records show Henderson had done state and federal prison time for firearm and drug-related offenses. The Utah Department of Corrections and U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah on Monday released a timeline of Henderson's most recent incarceration:

  • April 28, 2015: Henderson paroled from the Utah State Prison
  • June 4, 2015: Fugitive warrant issued by the Utah Board of Pardons & Parole at the request of Adult Probation & Parole for absconding from supervision (failure to report, change in address without AP&P permission, failure to obtain employment, failure to complete substance abuse evaluation, failure to abide by terms of curfew)
  • Oct. 3, 2015: Henderson arrested and returned to the Utah State Prison
  • Nov. 24, 2015: The U.S. Attorney's Office said Henderson was indicted by a federal grand jury on felon in possession of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense
  • Dec. 4, 2015: Henderson is arraigned in federal court, pleads not guilty
  • Dec. 8, 2015: Henderson is paroled to the Fortitude Treatment Center. Federal court records show U.S. Magistrate Judge Evelyn Furse allowed him to be released from federal custody to go to the treatment center
  • Dec. 18, 2015: Henderson is reported as a walkaway from the Fortitude Treatment Center. The Utah Department of Corrections said Henderson checked out in the morning to look for employment but did not return at the end of the day. That night, state dispatch was contacted and notified that he was missing
  • Dec. 21, 2015: A fugitive warning is issued for Henderson

At Henderson's last known address in the Sugar House area of Salt Lake City, neighbors said his family had been evicted in September. One neighbor told FOX 13 a group of U.S. Marshals awakened everyone at the residence at 3 a.m. a couple of weeks ago, looking for Henderson.

It is expected that the ATF will begin exploring how Henderson was able to get a firearm (one of his most recent charges was being a felon in possession of a firearm) that was used to kill Officer Barney. Whomever provided that weapon could ultimately face some type of federal charge.