Transylvania County Courthouse in Brevard.

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The Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a complaint involving state Rep. Cody Henson, R-Transylvania, Sheriff David Mahoney recently told Carolina Public Press.

An incident report released to CPP after a records request shows the office is investigating a case of cyberstalking, with Rep. Henson’s wife, Kelsey Henson, listed as the victim.

In her petition for a domestic violence protection order last month, Kelsey Henson said her husband was repeatedly texting her outside of the hours they agreed they would use to communicate about their children.

Rep. Cody Henson.

When asked for comment about the criminal investigation, the second-term Republican legislator replied: “This is a family matter, and while I will refute many of the allegations, I look forward to resolving it amicably through the legal process to do what is in the best interest of our children and put these difficult times behind us.”

State statute says electronic communications are elevated to the crime of cyberstalking when done “repeatedly, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of abusing, threatening, terrifying, harassing or embarrassing any person.” Cyberstalking is a class 2 misdemeanor. 

“I just want people to know I’m not trying to ruin his life,” Kelsey Henson said late last week. “I’m trying to get mine back.”

Last week, Kelsey Henson spoke to Carolina Public Press about her request for a domestic violence protection order against her husband. Rep. Henson’s legislative district includes Transylvania and Polk counties and much of Henderson County.

CPP has obtained the audio from Kelsey Henson’s calls to 911 from last year and early this year. The calls appear to show her trying to get help for abuse, which she said was not physical.

Shortly after the pair separated in April of last year, she tried to schedule a time with a sheriff’s deputy to go to the house and retrieve some belongings.

Another call came to 911 a month later, on Mother’s Day. That day, she described receiving a disturbing text message from the legislator.

“He said he was going to disappear, and it would be better for everybody if he would just die,” she told the operator.

She also told the operator that her husband said he wanted to place a Mother’s Day gift in her mailbox and that she refused to check to see what it was. At the time, she was pregnant with her now-6-month-old daughter.

The operator asked her husband’s name.

“Cody.”

“Henson?” the operator paused. “OK. Is that the same Cody Henson?”

“Yeah.”

“OK, I’m just making sure. I understand. I went to school with you.”

An officer then met the legislator at the Walmart in nearby Pisgah Forest, a report from the Sheriff’s Office shows.

“He has told me he is not suicidal,” a deputy wrote, saying the legislator “wants to get away to Raleigh for a few days. They have been having ongoing issues at home and about the minor child.”

A deputy arrived at Kelsey Henson’s home and spoke with her. According to the report, she told the deputy that Cody Henson had not made comments like that before.

The deputy then suggested she speak with a magistrate about involuntary commitment paperwork or a domestic violence protection order, according to the report.

As CPP previously reported, Kelsey Henson said a local magistrate declined to move forward with any criminal charges because of Henson’s position in the Republican Party.

The third call came on Jan. 2 this year. She told a 911 operator that Cody Henson’s mother was there and would not allow her to leave their Rosman residence with her children.

While Kelsey Henson spoke with the 911 operator, a young child sometimes wailed in the background. Kelsey turned aside from the phone and told someone else, apparently in reference to her mother-in-law: “This is not her marriage, these are not her children.”

The operator told Kelsey that several deputies were on the way. When asked if her husband had any weapons, Kelsey Henson told the operator that he did.

“This is the biggest mistake I have ever made,” Kelsey said under her breath. Other voices escalated but could not be heard clearly over the 911 call. The operator told her to not respond to the others in the room and to only talk to him.

Between sobs, she told the operator, “I’ve been doing this for too long. I can never get any help because of who he is. It’s just really hard.”


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Kate Martin

Kate Martin is a staff investigative reporter for Carolina Public Press. She may be reached at kmartin@carolinapublicpress.org.

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