California man gets prison for threats | RecordCourier.com
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California man gets prison for threats

by Christy Chalmers

A California man could spend up to four years in prison for threatening deputies with a crowbar after driving his truck into a Gardnerville bank.

Benny Ray Henry, 42, of Lakewood had hoped to get probation for the felony count of resisting a public officer with a dangerous weapon that he pleaded guilty to in August, but Douglas District Judge Dave Gamble refused.

“You don’t threaten police officers with a crowbar in Douglas County and get probation,” said Gamble. “It (isn’t) going to happen, not with a record like yours.”

Testimony given during Henry’s sentencing hearing Tuesday morning indicated Henry has served several other prison sentences, and Gamble said most of the underlying offenses involved violence and intoxication.

Henry’s lawyer, Nathan Tod Young, said Henry was in a “methamphetamine psychosis” when he hit the El Dorado Savings Bank July 24, then brandished a crowbar at the Douglas County deputies who responded to the incident.

He was subdued after a short standoff.

Young said Henry has been unable to get drug treatment since his arrest and urged Gamble to give Henry a chance at probation, with drug treatment as a requirement.

“He’s made some effort in more recent years not to be a felon,” said Young. “I know that his record does not speak to probation, but I’m hoping you will take an unusual chance” and grant it.

Henry, who said during his arraignment in August that he had been using drugs at the time of the confrontation, told Gamble he didn’t intend to threaten the officers and said probation would give him a chance to pay for the damage to the bank building.

Gamble imposed a 16- to 48-month prison sentence.