OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma County Judge Timothy Henderson was suspended Friday and is expected to resign amid sexual assault allegations from three different female attorneys.
Henderson presided over the high-profile case against former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw. As of Friday, he is at the center of an investigation by the Oklahoma County District Attorney. Local attorneys said they are only in the beginning stages of this whole thing, so, there’s a lot of questions as well as shock due to the gravity of the situation.
“Judge Tim Henderson is going to go from practicing as a district court judge one day and resigning the next day,” said local attorney Billy Coyle. “Which none of the community saw coming.”
“This is obviously something that does not happen every day,” said local attorney Andrew Casey. “Nor does it happen every decade.”
KFOR obtained an administrative order issued by presiding district court judge Ray Elliott Friday. The order suspends Henderson, effective immediately, for 45 days.
“This leaves kind of a void of what to do. Who takes over his cases? Where do they go?” Coyle said. “He has an entire docket that will need to be shifted around.”
As of Friday afternoon, the governor’s office and the administrative director of the courts said they have not yet received Henderson’s official resignation letter. However, the director of courts said she expects to receive it by Monday.
“You start to wonder about what happened,” Casey said. “You start to feel a lot of emotions for the women that came forward.”
“All of us enjoyed practicing in front of Tim Henderson,” Coyle said. “Right now, we’re just trying to figure out what to do next.”
Now, the question begs, what will happen with the cases he’s overseen.
“Reality says that you’re looking at a minimal effect on most cases,” Casey said. “Not every case gets reviewed just because a judge has to resign or gets called in for criminal accusations.”
However, they said some could be affected, but it’s too early to tell.
“If one of those individuals was prosecuting the case or involved in the case in some way, I would imagine that person would ask for relief from some court,” Coyle said.
“There’s way too many facts that we don’t know,” Casey said.
KFOR has been told by a spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office that Henderson was a presiding judge over the state’s multicounty grand jury. They said they expect the Oklahoma Supreme Court chief justice will name someone to take his place.