Jurors reach verdict in police corruption case

TULSA - TULSA -- Federal jurors announced their verdict Wednesday in the corruption trial of two Tulsa police officers.

Officers Jeff Henderson and Bill Yelton faced a number of charges, including depriving suspects of their civil rights, falsifying information to obtain warrants and threatening a suspect with a gun.

In the end, jurors found Henderson guilty on eight counts, including six counts of perjury and two counts of civil rights violations.

Yelton was acquitted of all charges.

The verdict came on day four of deliberations.  Jurors received the case Friday afternoon but only a few hours later they were dismissed for the weekend. The jury reconvened Monday and Tuesday but left both days without reaching a verdict.

Henderson faced a total of 53 charges while Yelton faced eight.

In a release emailed by the Tulsa Police Department, TPD officials said they fully support the jury's decision in the case.

TPD Police Chief Chuck Jordan said Tuesday that both this trial and the previous corruption trial that saw the acquittal of two officers and the conviction of one retired officer have led to many changes within the department, and he hopes the public doesn't judge the department on what only a few officers were accused of doing.

"It is with deep regret, that we see the actions of a few have damaged the image and reputation of the men and women of the Tulsa Police Department," read the emailed statement.  "These courageous officers remain committed, on a daily basis, to serve and protect the citizens of Tulsa."

In the previous corruption trial, Ofcs. Nick DeBruin and Bruce Bonham were acquitted of all wrongdoing while retired Cpl. Harold Wells was found guilty on five counts.  One of those counts was dropped after Wells filed a motion to dismiss the charge.  A motion for a new trial was denied.

Internal Affairs will now investigate whether any officer involved in the corruption case violated any departmental policies and procedures.

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