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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ind. Courts - "Third day of Henderson hearings start this morning in Indianapolis"

Updating this post from earlier this morning, here is the story now posted by Elizabeth DePompei in the New Albany News & Tribune. A few quotes from the long story:

INDIANAPOLIS — A third and likely final disciplinary hearing for Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson begins this morning, Oct. 21, at the Indiana Supreme Court in Indianapolis. * * *

The complaint, filed by disciplinary commission attorney David Hughes, alleges that Henderson started negotiations with Frank Weimann, a literary agent, in 2005 before the second Camm trial began, this time in Warrick County. The complaint states that Henderson then filed a notice of intent to introduce in the second trial allegations that Camm molested his children.

During the first disciplinary hearing held Monday in Floyd County Superior Court No. 3 in New Albany, Hughes introduced emails between Henderson and the literary agency dated the morning of March 3, 2006. In that email, the agency sent a proposed agreement "to serve as your exclusive literary agent," according to the complaint. Later that same day, the Warrick County jury convicted Camm of three counts of first-degree murder for the second time.

"I was quite bored around then," Henderson said of the week in Warrick County when he was waiting for a decision from the jury.

Henderson, the first of many witnesses to take the stand Monday, acknowledged that four days later on March 10, 2006, he signed an agreement with the literary agent. But he and his attorney, Donald Lundberg, argue that the agreement was for representation for a possible book deal in the future, not a contract to write a book. * * *

The disciplinary commission alleges that while waiting for the court's decision on the appeal, a 60-page book proposal was completed and the literary agency started shopping the proposal around to publishers. Then in May 2009, just one month before the Indiana Supreme Court would reverse Camm's conviction, Henderson allegedly entered into an agreement with a co-author to prepare a manuscript. The agreement provided a $10,000 advance to be split between Henderson and the co-author.

Henderson testified that at that time, he was" fairly confident" that the Indiana Supreme Court wasn't going to reverse the conviction. On June 26, 2009, the conviction was reversed, in part because the allegations Camm molested his child was "speculative at best and far more prejudicial than probative."

The disciplinary commission's complaint includes text from an email in which Henderson told the literary agency that he was still "committed to writing the book ..."

"It's a great story that needs to be told," Henderson wrote. "However the book can not come out prior to the completion of a potential third trial. It would jeopardize the case, potentially getting me removed from the case due to certain disclosures and opinions we are writing in the book."

Henderson's attorney said he received only a $1,700 advance that was later returned. Henderson testified that he did not remember what the details were that could have jeopardized the case had the book been published. But, he said, there were certainly details of the case that had not been presented at trial.

In November 2009, Henderson again filed murder charges against Camm for a third and final trial. A month later, after learning of the potential book deal negotiations, Camm's attorneys filed a petition to assign a special prosecutor to represent the state. In response to that petition, Henderson said allegations that the state would push to retry the case because of a book deal were "false" and that the deal was "conditioned on an affirmation by" the Supreme Court. * * *

If the disciplinary commission's allegations are upheld, Henderson could be sanctioned to private or public reprimand; suspension from practice for a set period of time; suspension from practice with reinstatement only after proving fitness; or permanent disbarment.

The News and Tribune is in Indianapolis today covering the hearing. Check back for story updates.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 21, 2015 12:48 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts