published Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Murray County captain fired after GBI probe launched

A 19-year veteran of Murray County Sheriff's Office is contemplating filing a wrongful termination suit after he was fired Friday.

Former Capt. Mike Henderson lost his job after reportedly lying to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation during an investigation tied to the arrest of Angela Garmley, who had filed a complaint against Murray County Magistrate Bryant Cochran, accusing him of soliciting her for sex.

After filing the complaint, Garmley was arrested on drug charges Aug. 14 after being pulled over in her car by Deputy Josh Greeson. Henderson was working as a shift supervisor when Garmley was arrested.

The charges against Garmley were dropped last week, and no one has been charged in a new investigation launched by GBI.

Earlier this week, Greeson was fired for lying to investigators.

"It's just a shock and a disappointment," Murray County Sheriff Howard Ensley said. "We just have to deal with it and move forward."

After Garmley filed her complaint against Cochran, an investigation was opened and Cochran resigned.

Henderson, who is Cochran's cousin, debated on backing up Greeson when he learned who had been pulled over, said Larry Stagg, a Ringgold-based attorney representing Henderson.

"He acknowledged he hesitated to go because, 'If I show up, there's going to be all sorts of problems,'" Stagg said.

Stagg said Henderson was never asked by his cousin to target Garmley.

"There was no contact between my client and the arresting officer hours before the stop," he said.

Garmley was arrested after Greeson said a drug dog that was in his patrol car found meth inside a magnetic box under her car.

Stagg said a civilian has admitted to planting the drugs in Garmley's vehicle but he didn't give a name. Nobody has been arrested, he said.

"Most of the people know my client and are supportive of him," Stagg said.

Ensley said both deputies had clean records while they were employed at the sheriff's office prior to Garmley's arrest. He said Greeson and Henderson are the only deputies who were investigated.

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