Turns out when the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s office dismissed felony trespassing charges against Luther Town Trustee Ron Henry earlier this month, they were planning to refile some of the charges as a misdemeanor.
That misdemeanor charge was filed Thursday.
The charges, first filed in August 2016, stem from a dispute between Henry and his neighbor, Zella Holder, over property lines and the allegations of theft of round hay bales. Henry was charged for those counts as well as allegations of voter fraud last summer.
Here’s part of the investigative report from that incident in April 2016.
The accompanying statement from Luther Police Chief Marcus Thurman states that, “On April 5, 2016, I received a call from Zella Holder who states Ronald Henry came onto her property, cut her wire and bailed hay without her permission … Mrs. Holder also states Mr. Henry continued to trespass on her property … I have T-posts on all of the survey points that have been known boundaries to all. I have had a continuous trespassing problem with Ronald Henry since 1992,” said Thurman’s statement from his interview with Holder.
According to Ms. Holder’s statement:
“On April 5, 2016, I arrived on my property to see Henry had cut my fence and was removing bales of hay … I told him ‘I have told you over and over to stay off my land and now you are mowing and bailing hay.’ He jumped to his feet screaming and shaking his finger in my face and screaming, ‘This is my land,”” said Holder.
At a preliminary hearing on June 13, felony counts stemming from this incident were dismissed. Although the criminal misdemeanor initial filing was Thursday; there are a few things we do not know:
- what evidence, or lack thereof, the State has to move the allegations from felony counts to a misdemeanor
- The Luther Police Department is listed as the “arresting agency,” but Luther Register inquiries have not been returned yet on whether Henry will be taken into custody, again, on this misdemeanor charge.
Henry says he is not guilty of the charges against him, and has broken no laws. He also adamantly says he will not resign from his seat on the Town Board while the court cases play out.
“If I was guilty, I would bow out, but I’m not guilty,” he said.
The dispute with Henry’s neighbor involves land on the west side of Hogback Road south of Main Street, and amounts to a wedge of land north of Holder’s RV Park and the former Seventh Street.
Henry has a court date on July 13 on the other charge, one count of conspiracy to commit false notarization.
Meantime, Henry said the distraction of the “nonsense” of these cases keeps him from focusing on Town business. He said is not serving the Town to benefit himself, but future generations. “I might not be here 20 years down the road, but the Town will still be here.”
His focus is on putting more money in the Luther’s Rainy Day Fund, realigning the police department’s portion of the Town budget, optimizing potential sales tax revenue with the new turnpike coming and other planning for the future.
“I want what’s best for the Town, not for Ron Henry.”