Murder suspect Timothy Henson’s lower lip quivered, his eyes slowly filling with tears, as he listened to the charges filed against him Tuesday.

Henson, whose bail was set at $6 million, turned and looked at his wife while Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier read the five Ballot Measure 11 offenses with which his office is charging Henson for his alleged role in a double-fatality shooting Sunday near Bandon.

“Just telling my wife I lover her,” Henson told Coos County Circuit Court Judge Michael Gillespie after Gillespie ordered him to pay attention.

Before he was arraigned, Henson, shackled from the legs up in a blue jump suit, looked at his wife and assured her he still loved her.

“I loved you more than anything,” he said in court. “But at least it’s done.”

Wife, 2 men shot

Frasier alleges Henson shot his wife, Vallena R. Tuell, in the forearm during an altercation where he also shot George Micheaux III and Milton C. Leach. Micheaux and Leach both died as a result of the shooting, although it is unclear how many times each man was shot.

Autopsies on both men are scheduled for Thursday.

Frasier said Micheaux, who was married to Tuell’s mother Ruth S. Micheaux; Leach, who was Ruth Micheaux’s ex-husband; Henson; and Tuell all traveled to the coast from Myrtle Creek to enjoy the weekend after they learned Leach had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

The five lived together, along with small children, on a property in Myrtle Creek.

Frasier said the Micheauxs lived in a trailer on the property; Tuell and Henson lived in a house; Leach lived in a room in the garage.

“Family get-together”

Frasier described the weekend as a “family get together” before Leach would become too ill to travel. All five stayed at a Bandon motel on Saturday night, Frasier said, and traveled to several beaches Sunday before deciding to head home.

Frasier would not comment on what sparked the altercation that left Micheaux and Leach dead, but he did say shots were fired inside and outside the car.

Multiple guns were found in the car and at Bob Belloni Ranch — a residential treatment facility for juveniles a few miles north of the shooting site —  where Henson was apprehended, Frasier said.

Frasier declined to comment on the type or number of guns that were found.

“Who got hit, when and where, we are still working on,” he said.

Women witnesses

Frasier said Sunday was a “saturation day” for the Oregon State Police and at least six troopers and three Coos County sheriff’s deputies were on duty at the time of the shooting, which he said is unusual.

Henson was arrested without incident after a trooper saw fresh tracks on a road leading to the ranch. The trooper called for backup and police found Henson near his car, Frasier said.

 Frasier alleges that Henson forced both Ruth Micheaux and Tuell to leave the scene of the shooting. Neither woman is a suspect, and evidence suggests they are the only witnesses to the shooting.

A grand jury will decide whether to indict Henson on two-counts of aggravated murder, two-counts of second-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault later this week.

If Henson is indicted, he will appear in court at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11,  to enter a plea. Maximum sentence on the aggravated murder charges is death, and the minimum sentence on all Measure 11 offenses is 70 months.

Reporter Tyler Richardson can be reached at 541-269-1222 ext. 236, or at trichardson@theworldlink.com.

(1) comment

MichelleWardHughes

When was the last time Oregon carried out a death penalty case to the ACTUAL DEATH? Oh yes I remember. ONLY 2 death row inmates since Oregon reinstated the Death Penalty in 1984, have actually been put do death and that was in 1997. There are now 35 men and one woman currently on death row. I say we put Timothy Henson at the TOP OF THE LIST!!!

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