KINGMAN Judge Richard Weiss on Tuesday morning sentenced Benjamin Henry, 28, of Kingman to serve 27 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections for attempted second-degree murder of a peace officer, three separate counts of aggravated assault against peace officers, and theft of means of transportation.
The judge delivered the sentence after he weighed mitigating and aggravating circumstances presented by Jace Zack, deputy county attorney, and defense attorney Steven Glazer of Flagstaff, and after listening to impassioned and emotional pleas for leniency from several of Henry's family members and friends.
Henry's mother, Barbara Carter, begged Weiss to go easy on her son. "Ben is capable of being a good, productive citizen," she said. "He has never been a violent young man. Š He's a hard-working young man. Š I understand that he's looking at punishment, but your Honor, please don't throw his life away."
Henry's trial in June centered around a confrontation in early August 2004 that included a high-speed chase and a shootout with officers, detectives and deputies from the KPD, MCSO and DPS through a residential part of Kingman and through the desert outside of town.
A Mohave County Superior Court jury found Henry guilty of all five charges in June. The verdict came after three days of testimony from Kingman Police Department, Mohave County Sheriff's Office and Arizona Department of Public Safety law enforcement personnel.
Henry also is facing charges related to the 2004 murder of John Wertzel, 81, of Kingman. Weiss set a jury trial management/status hearing for Aug. 29 and a jury trial on Sept. 12