I hope you will take the time to read our entire story. Our lives in Chatsworth, Georgia were forever changed, when Nathaniel “Casey” Jones (the big bull), came into our lives, my husband will never be the same man he once was. It destroyed him. He just can’t seem to get past what they did to him and no way of getting away from it. We spent all our life savings (thousands) plus sold many possessions to fight this bully. We even had to sell our wedding rings to help pay for our legal battle. I think it hurt our children most of all, they lost the father they loved. Our daughter gets angry at her dad because she can’t understand the impact it had on him. Sure he’s still here but all he talks about is what they did to him and what happened to him.
February 4, 2008
The destruction and nightmare of our lives as we knew it all started on February 4, 2008 when my husband, David K. Henry and his brother Kevin pulled into our driveway. Standing on our front porch was a game warden that goes by the name Casey Jones. His real name is Nathaniel Jones. He came charging toward my husband before my husband could even get out of the vehicle, stating he was the one that had taken his steel traps (stolen them on February 2, 2008 with Larry Etheridge). He never even told my husband who he was and the whole time my husband felt threatened in our own front yard. He said I wouldn’t even be here if you had those free trapping licence. There is no such thing as a free trapping licence. He told one lie after another. In fact, when my husband had called the State of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, he was told he did not need a licence to have steel traps on your own property. He called before he set any traps out and they never told him they had to have his name on them. The girl he talked to told him he could kill all the Coyotes he wanted. She hoped he killed them all. As my husband started to talk to the game warden, he stated he didn’t even know who he was. The game warden then proceeded to tell my husband “I know who you are, we have had you under constant surveillance for over a year. Him and his sidekick Larry Etheridge had been watching. For what we didn’t know at this point. This game warden is a real bully, almost 7 ft tall. He then threatened my husband not to speak with or tell anyone, that he would be back in a few days.
February 11, 2008
Well a week later on February 11, 2008 he returned with a search warrant for our house (illegal search warrant, we later found out). Part time magistrate judge Dwayne Hooper signed the search warrant without any probable cause. They also searched the car. The warrant did not include the car and my husband did not give them permission to search it. It seems our new neighbors Mike & Reia Stinnett, had turned my husband in for pouching. They had a search warrant to search for fur bearing animals, dead or alive. Game wardens Nathaniel “Casey” Jones, John VanLandingham, James Keener trashed our house, they broke light fixtures, damaged the kitchen cabinet doors, they unmade the bed, they flipped the mattress. They even went through our family Bible, looking for animal skins? Not sure what they were really looking for. I guess Nathaniel Jones ( aka Casey) thought he would make the bust of the century and make a name for himself. James Keener was going through boxes of my husband’s collectibles , when my husband had ask him to be careful with the knife he was using to open the boxes, he came over to my husband and held the knife to his face and told him to sit down and shut up. My husband was a avid collector of some very rare items. Later John VanLandingham got in my husband’s face (screaming) and threatened to throw him down and hog tie him if he didn’t shut his mouth when he was answering another wardens question. Well of course they didn’t find any animal skins or live animals. But they decided to arrest him for his traps anyway because they did not have his name on them, even though they were on his own property. They didn’t have anything, so they had to come up with something. He was taken Murray County Jail and booked for the traps. While in custody the Murray County Sheriff’s department transported my husband to Murray County Hospital because they thought he was going to have a heart attack. While at the hospital he was given several sprays of nitro under his tongue to try to slow down his heart rate. They also ran an ekg and started an IV. He was released on an O.R. bond while still at the hospital. The deputy just left my husband at the hospital without anything, no money, no phone, no coat. No way get his belongings. My husband was left with only his jeans, t-shirt and shoes. It was a cold February day. My husband started walking toward our house on the back streets. I had no clue where or what had happened to my husband. I had tried to call him several times throughout the day and was unable to reach him on his cell phone. Finally at 3 pm I received a call from my son’s school advising me to come pick my son up that my husband had been arrested. Imagine my shock and embarrassment to find out my husband had been arrested from the school secretary. After picking my son up at school, me and my brother in law, Kevin started to search for my husband. Finally, Kevin located him on one of the back streets walking toward our house. My husband ended up with pneumonia, thanks to the sheriff’s department. He still has a wheeze in his lungs to this day. They went back to the jail to get his belongings. Kevin went in to collect my husband’s things, he was told that my husband would have to come in to get his things. When my husband went into the jail to get his things. He was detained by the officers. Apparently, Nathaniel Jones ( aka Casey) had gone back to the Magistrate Judge Bryant Cochran to get another arrest warrant and they were holding my husband until Casey could get back. He got a warrant to arrest him for some antique birds they had found in the house and a booby trap they had found on a neighbor’s property. They found an owl that had hung in TP’s Country Store for years. My husband had gotten the owl from Tony Patterson, the owner of TP’s several years earlier. The games wardens Casey Jones and Larry Etheridge knew this and even stated that it had came from TP’s. The booby trap they found on another neighbor’s property contained materials that we did not own. Even though they could not match any of the materials to anything on our property game warden John VanLandingham said to charge it to him anyway. After they detained my husband at the jail, me and my brother in law, Kevin went to the magistrate office to see Bryant Cochran. Bryant was not aware that Casey was there to get another warrant and advised me he had already had him released on an O.R. bond. I then explained that Casey had him re-arrested. The magistrate judge Bryant Cochran even knew the owl came from TP’s store. Bryant called and had him released again on a O.R. bond. My husband went to see our pastor and friend Danny Cochran at Holly Creek Baptist Church after this encounter. He was really concerned about my husband’s well being and even offered to help pay for medical help.
After he was released we obtained Attorney J. Tracy Ward in Dalton, Georgia. He talked a good game, that he was going to do all these things for my husband. He was going to get with the district attorney to see about having the charges dropped. After all the steel traps were taken illegally. He could do a motion to suppress the evidence, since they were taken illegally. Somehow our attorney ended up speaking with Nathaniel ‘Casey’ Jones and after that he didn’t seem to be on our side. No mention of having a motion to suppress the evidence anymore. The assistant district attorney Scott Minter told our lawyer that Jones was really pressuring him to move forward on this one. The Stinnett's were afraid of my husband after falsely accusing him. And this was all because we wouldn't sale them the property behind our house. Minter suggested that my husband take a plea agreement. He said that if he went forward to try to have it thrown out that he would make sure he got jail time. Our lawyer Tracy Ward told my husband to take the plea deal or he would drop his case. Tracy Ward said he didn’t want to push it even though he knew the evidence was obtained illegally. He sold him out.
May 30, 2008
After our neighbors the Stinnett"s had 'Casey' arrest my husband, apparently Reia was afraid. On the advice of her friend Andy Fraser of the Chatsworth Police Department she tried to have my husband arrested in magistrate court. When he appeared in court in front of Chief Magistrate judge Bryant Cochran. She had been keeping a journal of when he came and went from our own property. She had taken pictures and videos of him over their fence while he was working and even one where he was sleeping in a lounge chair. She was stalking him and Bryant Cochran said nothing to her that it was illegal for her to take pictures of him without his permission. In fact, Cochran already had his mind made up before he even heard the case. Bryant Cochran didn't even want to hear my husband's side of the story, he wouldn't even let my husband speak. Cochran said that he had heard enough. He already had a 60 day good behavior warrant made out against my husband before the trial ever started, to stay away from the Stinnett's. He even made my husband take down some Bible verses we had hanging on our own property. It's a wonder he didn't make us take our 17 ft cross. Cochran always seems to favor the woman side regardless of the evidence.
Not knowing any better and on the advice of Pastor Danny Cochran, my husband agree to plead nolo contendere to no tags on traps and the antique mounted birds.
March 20, 2009
You would think that would be the end of it, but it was far from being over. We moved to a new house in town the get away from our neighbors “the Stinnett’s”. Apparently Casey was still out to get my husband. When we moved to town everything was put in my name. My husband’s name wasn’t on anything. Casey knew where my house was and even what I drove. Everything about me. He even followed me around on numerous occasions. On March 20, 2009 I received a call from my 14 years old daughter, telling me to get home asap. When I arrived home there were 3 Chatsworth police officers (the whole police force on duty), a game warden named Larry Etheridge in my driveway and blocking my street. I had no clue what had happened. Casey Jones had accused my husband of making a phone call to his cell phone from a payphone at the Save-A-Lot. He called all his buddies and told them he had received a phone call from my husband. When ask how he knew it was him, he said that he recognized his voice. Keep this in mind, he has only spoke with my husband twice before over 13 months earlier , for less than 15 minutes total in person and never on a phone. And how would my husband get his cell number. Chatsworth police officer Elliot Welch advised me and my husband that they could not arrest him they did see or witness the alleged phone call. He said Casey would have to go to the magistrate court to get a warrant. Sergeant Kelly Parker also spoke with our 14 year old daughter and she confirmed she was with her dad and that he had not used a payphone. In the meantime, Officers Elliot Welch, Andy Fraser & Kelly Parker, game warden Larry Etheridge remained at my house. About 30 to 45 minutes after I arrived home, game warden Nathaniel ‘Casey’ Jones arrived at my house. He came out of his truck with his hand on his gun with his finger in my face. Yelling at me to back up, you need to just back up. (picture this, I’m just barely 5’2”, he’s close to 7’). Not a single officer stepped up to protect me from this so called victim. He then called all of the officers out to the road to intimidate them into arresting my husband. Sergeant Kelly Parker made the decision to arrest my husband without a warrant or witnessing the call. They didn’t even check his cell phone to see if he had even received a call. Officer Elliot Welch placed my husband under arrest for stalking. Stalking for a phone call? We know who was stalking who. As they were placing my husband, already in handcuffs, in the police car. Casey say and I quote “that will teach you to mess with the Big Bull Casey Jones.” My husband then replied “if I recall correctly bulls have balls.” Then Casey threatened my husband, he said “I will kill you, you son of a bitch”. Again the police officers stood there and said nothing. I think that was considered a felony to threaten someone’s life and actually have a gun in hand to do so. Also my neighbor Sergeant Michael Parker with the Chatsworth Police Department was just going on duty, when all of this was taking place, he also said nothing even though he knew it was a false arrest. I finally received a call from my husband around 10 pm telling me to bring his blood pressure medicine and a few other items. I found out later that the jailers had refused to give my husband his blood pressure medicine, stating he could wait till morning. At some point my husband had told the guard, that they could explain it to his wife why he had died. Only after the other inmates kept shouting at the guards that he was not doing well and was going to die. They finally gave him his medicine. I went to see the chief magistrate judge Bryant Cochran, first thing Saturday morning and he assured me he would go to the jail and take care of the matter. That he didn’t know David had been arrested again. He didn’t do anything but lie to me. I wasn’t able to get him out to late Sunday afternoon. He spent 2 nights in an overcrowded jail on the floor because of the Big Bull Casey Jones. No one should have to sleep on the dirty floor.
We found out after we picked up a copy of the incomplete police report that Casey had brought up the Stinnett’s in his report. The Stinnett’s were not there. It had nothing to do with them. No one could figure out why he was mentioning the Stinnett’s. Not sure what the connection with him and the Stinnett’s are. Casey had also written out a statement that the chief of police Terry Martin refused to give my husband. He was overheard telling his file clerk to get rid of it. That my husband was not going to get it. Not sure if it got destroyed or just hid somewhere else. Also when we went to the 911 center to get the CAD recording, we were told his call did not get recorded. We found that really strange that only his call did not get recorded that day. It must have had some incriminating information on it. Small town coverup? Good Ole Boy system? You decide.
After all was said and done, we obtained a criminal lawyer G. Brian McWhorter out of Rome Georgia. He could not believe how my husband had been treated. He said he had been treated worse than a drug dealer. When he tried to get information on the case, he was given to run around . He tried to contact the district attorney’s office to find out if the case had been given a case number. No one would call him back. They didn’t have any evidence to prosecute. They never even arraigned him. When our lawyer finally did speak with assistant district attorney Matthew Rankin, he was told they were not going to do anything with the case but refused to dismiss it. Our lawyers office called the district attorney’s office every week for almost 2 years to see if it had been put on the docket yet. After the 2 years were almost out our attorney referred us to a another attorney James A. Satcher Jr in Rome, Georgia to file a civil rights lawsuit against the 3 officers with the Chatsworth Police Department and with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources against the 2 games wardens involved. We filed the lawsuit in federal court in Rome Georgia on March 18, 2011. The 5 officers involved were all served 2 years to the date of my husband’s wrongful arrest, almost to the exact moment. Now, how’s that for Charma. Our neighbor Tyson Haynes, who was the Mayor of Chatsworth at the time, even went against us, he provided the 3 Chatsworth Police Officers with a lawyer. Of course their attorneys filed motions to dismiss. And Judge Harold Murphy was going to dismiss the case, even though the case they referred to, was nothing even remotely related to ours. So our lawyer filed additional paperwork to keep the lawsuit going. Their lawyers filed additional motions to dismiss stating ‘qualified immunity’. In no way did they or should they have qualified for immunity. This was not one officer making a split second decision to arrest. This was 5 officers at my house for at least an hour. Of course Judge Murphy ruled in their favor and granted them all qualified immunity. We filed an appeal with the Georgia Court of Appeals. After all it just didn’t seem fair the any officer can do anything they want to you and you have no rights to do anything back. Finally on March 27, 2012, my husband’s birthday, the United States Court of Appeals ruled against us again, stating we didn’t prove our case. How could we prove our case when it was never allowed to be heard or the physical evidence allowed to be seen.
We shouldn’t have to worry that our children are safe. Who will protect us when the bullies are the law enforcement?
Something needs to be changed regarding “Qualified Immunity”. They all want to stand behind this law and use it even when it doesn’t apply. If you would like to help us recover some of our losses, please feel free to donate and help us fight. Donations can be made through PayPal or mailed to PO Box 371, Chatsworth, GA 30705.
Thanks for your time to read our story. It was time our story was heard and not swept under the rug like a dirty little secret. It’s time to stand up and fight the Good Ole Boy System in small town USA.