An Idaho man accused of holding a woman against her will during an incident in Richmond was denied release from jail after a detention hearing in 1st District Court on Thursday.
Tracy M. Henrie, 33, appeared in court via video conference call from the Cache County Jail. Henrie faces one count of first-degree aggravated kidnapping, third-degree aggravated assault and four additional felonies and misdemeanors. Henrie was arrested on Jan. 22, and faces life in prison if convicted.
After evidence was presented by defense counsel and prosecutors — including video surveillance footage of the incident — Judge Brian Cannell found there was substantial evidence for the charges and significant risk posed to the alleged victim if Henrie were to be released.
The video presented by prosecutors depicts a vehicle driving alongside a woman at night behind a building in the Richmond area. When the vehicle stops, Henrie can be seen exiting the driver-side door and picking the alleged victim up by her waist and carrying her around the rear of the vehicle to the to the passenger side door. The video depicts the alleged victim exiting the vehicle and attempting to flee multiple times, while Henrie can be seen carrying the alleged victim and aggressively putting her back in the car. Henrie and the alleged victim engage in apparent verbal arguments through the passenger window, and they eventually drive away towards Idaho.
Cache County prosecutor Dane Murray argued that at one point in the video, Henrie put his hands on the alleged victim’s neck and strangled her. Murray said, according to an expert witness to be used at trial who was not present for the hearing, blood flow restriction, as opposed to airway restriction, is easier to accomplish during a strangulation and can result in injury or death.
Defense attorney Ryan Holdaway, however, said the alleged victim has offered no statement confirming a strangulation. Holdaway argued the section of the video that depicts the alleged strangulation lasted for a “second or less,” and that nothing in the video suggested any action forcible enough to produce unconsciousness.
“I disagree wholeheartedly with the state’s interpretation of the video,” Holdaway told the court. “I take issue with the fact that we’re going to deprive somebody of their freedom on the promise of testimony to come later from an expert, who supposedly — without statements from a victim — can opine as to whether or not somebody’s airway was blocked or blood circulation would have been impeded.”
Holdaway said Henrie was not acting in a “predatory or mean-hearted” way, but was reacting to a complicated domestic situation where the alleged victim was on foot outside in the cold, intoxicated and had a history of self-harm. Holdaway told the court Henrie had been cooperative with the law enforcement and multiple attempts to turn himself in to police custody demonstrated he wasn’t a flight risk. While conceding that there may have been crimes committed that night, Holdaway said those charges would be far less severe than what the state has alleged.
Murray told the court witnesses who saw the incident were concerned enough to call 911, and there were three minor children in the vehicle during the incident that deserved consideration as victims. For Murray, Henrie’s release would pose a danger to the victims and the community, and he may abscond, considering his out-of-state address.
Judge Brian Cannell found that the state presented substantial evidence to support the charges, that he was a safety risk to the alleged victim, and ordered Henrie to be held without bail. Cannell said the results of the incident had to be weighed in questions of Henrie’s intent.
“It appears that it was the defendant’s intent to do the things that he did,” Cannell said. “She wasn’t just placed in the car, she was thrown in the car. I could see hands around her neck at least the one time.”
Henrie was set to appear before the court on Feb. 18 for a preliminary hearing to determine probable cause for the charges— a lower standard of proof than that of substantial evidence required for detention hearings.
“It’s a weird nuance in the statute,” Cannell said, “but we’ll proceed on that and give the opportunity for Mr. Holdaway to do what he needs to do to be an advocate for his client.”