GREENFIELD – A woman’s voice boomed through the courtroom, sounding breathless and panicked.
“He’s following me,” the woman kept repeating.
The 911 call from a woman who told dispatchers she’d been attacked was presented in court Tuesday afternoon during the first day of the trial against Gary Henderson.
The 34-year-old Greenfield man is standing trial this week in Hancock Circuit Court. He faces one Level 5 felony count of battery on a pregnant woman resulting in injury and one Class A misdemeanor of domestic battery.
Story continues below gallery
On the first day of testimony, Deputy Prosecutor Cathy Wilson worked to convince a jury of 12 Hancock County residents Henderson battered and abused the woman, who was pregnant at the time of the alleged attack. Wilson rested the state’s case late Tuesday afternoon after calling two witnesses – the victim and the Greenfield Police Department officer who spoke to her at the start of the investigation.
Henderson’s defense attorney argued her client never should have been criminally charged.
Nicole Zelin told the jury any mistreatment Henderson and the woman showed each other was mutual, saying it was Henderson who injured in the scuffle, not the victim. The case, she said, should have been handled by investigators as a civil dispute — not a criminal offense.
The incident happened March 27.
The victim told the jury she was leaving Henderson’s Greenfield home — she was 37 weeks pregnant at the time — when they began to argue.
Their exchange eventually became physical, she said.
In an attempt to keep her from leaving the house, Henderson began taking items out of the woman’s car, she said. When she tried to stop him, he grabbed onto her arms and hair, nearly pulling her to ground by her ponytail, she testified.
The woman said she tried to push Henderson off of her and yelled at him to stop. She admitted she bit him on the chest as she was trying to get away, she told the jury.
The woman said she then ran from Henderson’s home after he finally released her. She climbed into her car and drove away, but Henderson followed her, she said.
Fearing for her safety, the woman called 911 for help, telling the dispatcher what happened and giving her a description of Henderson’s car, she said.
Prosecutors played a copy of her 8-minute 911 call for the jury as evidence. At the start of the exchange with a local dispatcher, the victim sounds panicked and out of breath. Eventually, she starts to cry.
The victim drove up and down Greenfield streets with Henderson following her, while the dispatcher tried to find a spot for her to safely meet up with police, the victim testified.
“He’s following me. … I can’t get him to stop following me,” the woman said during the course of the call, as the dispatcher repeatedly told her to stay calm.
A Greenfield police officer met the victim in the parking lot at McKenzie Plaza, near the intersection of McKenzie Road and State Street. Another officer stopped Henderson’s car nearby.
Patrolman Jill Jenkins told the jury she contacted prosecutors for advice on whether Henderson should be arrested without further investigation. The pair gave conflicting statements when questioned, she said.
A team of medics from the Greenfield Fire Territory responded to the scene and advised the victim to visit the hospital to ensure her baby wasn’t injured. The woman was taken to Hancock Regional Hospital, where doctors determined she had high blood pressure, according to court documents.
Her child was born healthy a few weeks later, officials said.
Henderson was immediately arrested and booked into the Hancock County Jail. He posted a $2,000 cash bond a few days later and was released. He remains out of police custody while the trial proceeds.
Jurors were asked to return to court 8:30 a.m. today to continue hearing evidence. The proceedings are open to the public.