Crime & Courts

Man rejects prosecutors’ offer of two years on escape charges

WOODSTOCK – A man accused of escaping the back of a squad car while handcuffed and then eluding capture for 12 hours has rejected prosecutors’ offer of two years in prison.

James R. Henson, 45, has been in the McHenry County Jail since his arrest in October 2011 after a property owner called in a trespassing complaint.

While in the back of a McHenry County sheriff’s car, Henson allegedly kicked out a window and escaped. He eluded capture for more than 12 hours before he was found in a wooded area.

Assistant State’s Attorney David Metnick said the offer of two years will be on the table until Jan. 25. There may not be another offer in the case, he said.

Henson’s attorney, special public defender Bill Bligh, said he is seeking additional information about the case, and said he and his client are somewhat prejudiced by the fact that they still are in the fact-finding phase.

About eight months before the escape case, a jury found Henson not guilty of burglarizing a Crystal Lake church. A can of Busch Light beer found at the scene had his DNA on it.

Henson has a lengthy criminal history. His past convictions in McHenry, Kane and Lake counties include burglary, forgery, criminal damage to property and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Henson’s next court date on escape charges is Friday.

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