Cody Henson and WLOS crew
State Rep. Cody Henson, R-Transylvania, (center) exits the Transylvania County courthouse in Brevard after an appearance on a cyberstalking charge March 28, 2019, as WLOS reporter Justin Hinton (left) and camera operator Todd Robbins attempt to interview him. Frank Taylor / Carolina Public Press

Rep. Cody Henson, R-Transylvania, abstained from a House vote on a bill on domestic violence protection orders in Raleigh on Wednesday afternoon.

His nonvote came a day after he received a continuance in a criminal cyberstalking case against him. “They needed him in Raleigh,” Henson’s attorney, J. Michael Edney, told Carolina Public Press outside the Transylvania County courthouse in Brevard on Tuesday.

The state House of Representatives unanimously passed Senate Bill 493, which modifies existing law about domestic violence protection orders.

It is a topic Henson is personally familiar with, as a judge awarded his wife, Kelsey Henson, a yearlong domestic violence protection order against him in February.

Henson now faces the cyberstalking charge related to his alleged conduct in that matter, according to Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office and court records.

Henson voted on other bills throughout the day Wednesday, according to legislative records. He did not respond to an emailed question from CPP regarding his abstention.

If SB 493 becomes law, abusers who are required to attend treatment will have to start within 60 days. It also specifies that domestic violence protection orders expire at 11:59 p.m. on the expiration date.

The bill was championed by Sen. Danny Britt Jr., a Republican representing Columbus and Robeson counties.

After Henson’s domestic violence protection order was in place, the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office issued Henson a criminal court summons for cyberstalking. Henson has said he will not defend his seat in the upcoming election.

Earlier this year, a judge ordered Henson to give up his guns as Henson faced the misdemeanor cyberstalking charge.

On Tuesday, attorney Edney secured a third postponement in the cyberstalking matter for his client.

Asked by CPP on Tuesday about other cases involving public officials in which repeated continuances have sometimes been a prelude to the charges being dropped, Edney responded, “This one is going to go away sooner or later.”

Past coverage

You can strengthen independent, in-depth and investigative news for all of North Carolina

Carolina Public Press is transforming from a regionally focused nonprofit news organization to the go-to independent, in-depth and investigative news arm for North Carolina. You are critical to this transformation — and the future of investigative and public interest reporting for all North Carolinians.

Unlike many others, we aren’t owned by umbrella organizations or corporations. And we haven’t put up a paywall — we believe that fact-based, context-rich watchdog journalism is a vital public service. But we need your help. Carolina Public Press’ in-depth, investigative and public interest journalism takes a lot of money, persistence and hard work to produce. We are here because we believe in and are dedicated to the future of North Carolina.

So, if you value independent, in-depth and investigative reporting in the public interest for North Carolina, please take a moment to make a tax-deductible contribution. It only takes a minute and makes a huge difference. Thank you!

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You may republish our stories for free, online or in print. Simply copy and paste the article contents from the box below. Note, some images and interactive features may not be included here.

Kate Martin is lead investigative reporter for Carolina Public Press. Email her at

Join the Conversation


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *