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Man wanted in sexual assault turns himself over to sheriff

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A 20-year-old Roswell man suspected of sexually assaulting and violently attacking his former girlfriend was arrested Friday on an outstanding arrest warrant.

Jason Henderson (Submitted Photo)

Sheriff Mike Herrington on Monday confirmed Jason Henderson contacted the Sheriff’s Office Friday at about 10:30 a.m. from Sunrise Medical Center to say he wanted to turn himself over to Herrington.

“He just said that he would not turn himself over to anyone else and that he would turn himself over to me,” Herrington said.

He added that he then went and took Henderson into custody at about 11:45 a.m. Friday without incident.

“Once I got there, he just turned around, I put the handcuffs on him and he went peacefully,” Herrington added.

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Undersheriff Charles Yslas, who along with another deputy, accompanied Herrington and said Henderson was then taken to the Sheriff’s Office where he was booked, processed and then transported out to the Chaves County Detention Center.

An arrest warrant was issued Oct. 7 for Henderson on two criminal counts each of criminal sexual penetration and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon as well as one count of interference with communications.

Henderson faces those charges after he allegedly sexually assaulted and attacked his former girlfriend with a machete Oct. 6 at her 600 block of South Delaware Avenue residence.

Court documents state Henderson had stopped by his ex-girlfriend’s home the morning of Oct. 6. The woman later told investigators she had let Henderson inside to assist him in obtaining an ID and to let him see the dog he had left with her three weeks earlier when their relationship ended.

When Henderson during the visit began expressing frustration and anger over issues related to their previous relationship, the woman reportedly ignored him and tried to walk away.

According to court documents, when the woman was walking away, Henderson allegedly placed his arm around her and choked her to the point that she fell unconscious. He then allegedly sexually assaulted the woman before striking her in the head, back, feet and face with a machete and threatened to kill her several times.

Later, when the woman tried to seek refuge from Henderson in the bathroom, he reportedly grabbed her before she could lock the door. He then allegedly sexually assaulted her for a second time.

Henderson then took her cellphone and began texting people while posing as the woman. One of the people he texted was a relative of his who then came to the house.

When the relative arrived, court documents state he allegedly instructed Henderson to leave. He then took the woman to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center.

The relative, documents state, later informed police he believed Henderson was likely to attempt suicide by crashing his vehicle.

New Mexico State Police that day would later find a vehicle rolled over on U.S. 285 north of Roswell toward Vaughn, which they suspected was driven by Henderson.

When NMSP arrived at the scene though, the vehicle was unoccupied. No one was found in the vicinity of the accident. Court documents state Henderson was believed to have fled the scene.

Judge Dustin K. Hunter of New Mexico’s 5th Judicial Court had let Henderson out on conditional release Sept. 25 pending sentencing. That same day at a change of plea hearing, Henderson had pleaded no contest to one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence in the 2018 death of Garland Troy Berg, 50, of Roswell.

Last week, after he was charged in connection with the Oct. 6 sexual assault, court documents state the District Attorney’s Office filed a motion to hold Henderson in pretrial detention.

As a result, Henderson could be held without bond pending trial, if a judge determines Henderson would present a danger to other individuals and the community and that no conditions of release could reasonably ensure the safety of the public.

Calls to reach the Law Office of the Public Defender in Roswell, who is listed as representing Henderson, were not answered as of press time Monday.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext, 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.