Cody Henson

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The criminal case against a state lawmaker was continued Thursday at the Transylvania County Courthouse in Brevard. Frank Taylor / Carolina Public Press

BREVARD — The criminal case against a North Carolina legislator was continued for a second time on Thursday.

Rep. Cody Henson, R-Transylvania, faces a charge of criminal cyberstalking, a Class 2 misdemeanor, after an investigation by the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office earlier this year.

His estranged wife, Kelsey Henson, has accused him of repeatedly sending harassing text messages and social media posts despite being asked to stop, according to law enforcement and court records. Judge Fritz Mercer granted her a domestic violence order of protection in late February, requiring Rep. Henson to stay away from her and cease communication.

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During a first appearance on the criminal charge in March, Judge Roy Wijewickrama ordered Rep. Henson to give up any guns and called for a third party to handle exchanging his children for visitation.

Because Henson is a state legislator representing Transylvania and Polk counties and large portions of Henderson County in the North Carolina House of Representatives, District Attorney Greg Newman recused himself from the case in March, saying he had supported Henson’s campaign.

As a result, the office of Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat, is handling prosecution. Henson’s attorney is J. Michael Edney, who is also a member of the Henderson County Board of Commissioners.

Henson was due in Transylvania County court Thursday after a previous continuance from early May. However, neither he nor the lawyers for the two sides appeared in the Brevad’s crowded “small courtroom” as the names of criminal defendants were read out.

Clerks instead described a note declaring that both sides had consented for a further continuance. While the previous continuance was for nearly two months, the new one buys only a couple weeks, with the next appearance slated for July 9, according to the Transylvania County Clerk of Courts office.

Henson has declined to step down from his seat in the General Assembly but has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2020.


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Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor is the managing editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact him at ftaylor@carolinapublicpress.org.

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