Cory Lee Henderson, who on Sunday allegedly killed a Utah police officer, was free at the time because he had walked away from a treatment center. Everyone who had debated whether to send Henderson to the center, rather than keeping him behind bars, had seen potential red flags, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. At a Dec. 7 hearing, a federal magistrate and a prosecutor pointed to Henderson’s previous failures to follow parole rules. His defense attorney acknowledged those concerns, but argued that with certain conditions, his client was “a manageable safety and flight risk.” The prosecutor said he felt “comfortable” with the plan and Magistrate Judge Evelyn Furse ordered Henderson’s release to the center.
Eleven days later, Henderson absconded. On Sunday, he allegedly shot and killed Unified Police Department Officer Doug Barney and died in a shootout with other officers. Some Utah police officers are now contending that the magistrate’s decision should be reviewed. The magistrate said she would allow Henderson to live at the center under an agreement that the center would supervise him, “use every effort” to ensure he appeared at all scheduled proceedings and notify the federal court if he violated any release conditions. The center alerted the court after Henderson didn’t return from looking for work, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.