Man convicted in coastal killings

The Associated Press /

Published Jun 28, 2013 at 05:00AM

COQUILLE — An Oregon man was convicted Thursday of two counts of aggravated murder for fatally shooting the 19-year-old husband of his mother-in-law and her terminally ill former husband.

Circuit Judge Richard Barron found Timothy Henson, 43, of Myrtle Creek guilty after a three-day, nonjury trial.

Henson was convicted of killing Milton Leach, 70, and George Micheaux III during a trip to the Oregon coast last September. Henson testified that he used methamphetamine during the trip and was feeling paranoid.

The judge sentenced Henson to life in prison. He’ll have to serve 60 years before being eligible for parole.

Hanson told the judge he’d been in confrontations all that weekend with Leach, the former husband of 47-year-old Ruth Micheaux.

She was also along on the trip, as was Henson’s wife, Vallena Tuell.

Toxicology reports showed everyone on the trip except Leach used methamphetamine that weekend. Leach had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and was visiting Bandon, on the Oregon coast, to find a place to spread his ashes.

Tuell was injured in the gunfire and survived.

Tuell and Ruth Micheaux testified that a shot was fired inside the group’s car before Henson shot both men in the head after they got out of the vehicle along U.S. 101. Officers arrested him a few miles away, hiding in bushes with his shirt off.

Henson was also convicted of two counts of second-degree kidnapping and one count of fourth-degree assault.

The defense argued that Henson acted in self-defense, The World newspaper of Coos Bay reported.

Henson’s counsel also told the judge the defendant wasn’t in his right mind because of his meth use.

Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier described the shooting as “simply an execution.”

“You can’t start a gun fight and then say you’re defending yourself when somebody might draw a gun and shoot back at you,” the judge said. “Frankly, no reasonable person would be around these people that weekend.”

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