DA: Officer lied about threatening boy with Taser

A former Medford police officer who threatened a runaway teenager with a Taser gun last year pleaded no contest to a single charge of menacing in Jackson County Circuit Court today, district attorneys say.

Just moments before the start of what was expected to be a two-day jury trial, attorneys entered a plea agreement before Circuit Court Judge Ray White stipulating that Travis Henson, 36, would voluntarily have his police certification with the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training revoked in exchange for the dismissal of the official misconduct charge.

Henson was also fined $500. He was not placed on probation, court records show.

Henson wept but did not speak at the sentencing. His no-contest plea, while not an admission of guilt, carries the same consequences in court as a guilty plea, said David Hopkins, Douglas County deputy district attorney. He handled the case at the request of the Jackson County DA's office.

Hopkins said a police investigation showed Henson menaced the boy on the night of May 28, 2007, and lied about it later.

Hopkins said video and other evidence shows the 15-year-old was telling the truth when he said Henson threatened the teen and then deployed his stun gun just inches from the boy's eyes in the back of his police cruiser. Henson also assaulted the teen once they arrived at the Medford detention facility after apprehending the boy twice in a one-hour (see correction below) period after the teen fled the county Juvenile Justice Center, Hopkins said. The mistreatment occurred during the second trip to the center, he said.

Henson was placed on administrative leave soon after the incident. The criminal charges were filed on Sept. 27, and he resigned from the department in October, before the completion an internal investigation and before the department informed him of any disciplinary measures he may have faced.

— Sanne Specht

Correction: The original version of this story referred to a longer period of time. This version has been corrected.

Share This Story