Prominent defense attorney injured in home invasion

Saturday, December 4th 2004, 11:45 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A prominent death penalty attorney was shot and kidnapped in a crime spree that began with a robbery at his home in upscale Nichols Hills.

Mark Henricksen, a senior partner with Henricksen and Henricksen law firm, and Brett Hubert, 27, were held at gunpoint in Henricksen's home Thursday night as robbers stole electronics and other household items.

``It was just bizarre,'' Henricksen said as he addressed reporters outside his home Friday evening. ``They took shifts holding a gun on me as they carried out my belongings.''

Henricksen, who had been shot twice in the legs and once in the stomach during the robbery, said he convinced the suspects to go to the bank the next morning.

Hubert, Henricksen's overnight guest, sustained a superficial gunshot wound to his shoulder.

``After I got over the shock of being shot and I figured out I wasn't going to die, I was fairly calm and lectured them about their immoral choice and asked them to quit,'' Henricksen told reporters. ``It didn't seem appropriate to talk about OU (University of Oklahoma) football at the time.''

The next morning, the suspects, two women and two men, took the victims and a dog to El Reno, west of Oklahoma City.

The suspects forced Henricksen, 50, to enter the bank alone and withdraw cash.

``I chose not to do that,'' Henricksen said. ``I called the police so they could be arrested.''

Melinda Sue Davison, 22, and Michael P. Riley, 31, both of Oklahoma City were arrested in El Reno. Tiffany L. Norman, 23, who police say is a transient, was also arrested in El Reno.

Police captured Kenneth Ray Russell, 31, after a car chase near Interstate 40.

Russell ran from his car near Wiley Post Airport in Oklahoma City.

An officer trying to catch Russell hurt his back while crawling under a chain-linked fence, said Oklahoma City Police Capt. Jeffery Becker.

All four suspects could face charges of shooting with intent to kill, robbery, kidnapping and extortion, Becker said.

Becker said officers were still investigating the case, including why Henricksen was targeted.

Henricksen has handled numerous capital murder cases and was the lead counsel in six cases where the verdict or the death sentence has been vacated.

In May, Henricksen successfully argued that Osbaldo Torres, a Mexican national accused of the 1993 murder of an Oklahoma City couple, should not be put to death.

After intervention from the Mexican Embassy, the European Union and several other anti-death penalty groups, Gov. Brad Henry commuted Torres' death sentence to life in prison. Henricksen is the 2001 Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyer Association's Thurgood Marshall Appellate Award winner.