My name is Gail Henry, I am Heath John Henry’s mother. We are launching this campaign to raise money to pay for legal fees for my son, who is a former United States Marine and a Junior Youth Coordinator/Community Developer.
On January 2nd, 2015 my son was charged with attempted murder in the Bahamas. After going there on a work contract he was attacked by an unstable individual on a remote island. Unlike his accuser, John has no prior criminal record nor a history of violence he had a gun on him to fend off wild boars (common on these islands) and used it to defend himself from his attacker who had swung a machete at him and was about to do it again. John was convicted of attempted murder on March 23rd, 2016 and is currently serving a 15 year sentence.
We need money to pay for John’s lawyer for his Appeal and New Trial. We also need to pay for his necessary living expenses like food and water (which is very costly) to keep John alive and as healthy as possible.
John is in one of the worst prisons in the world awaiting his appeal. He is in a 10 x 20 cell with 35 other inmates. There is not enough space for the inmates to lay down to sleep. He is sleep deprived getting under 2 hours sleep a night. Some days he is given one piece of bread as his meal for the day, unless food is bought for him. He has no access to clean drinking water unless we pay for it. His cell is overrun by rats. The whole prison is infested with rats! There is no plumbing and so the inmates are forced to use a 15-gallon bucket as a toilet, which then sits in the cell with feces and urine in it for days, with no ventilation, until the guards remove the bucket. His blanket was infested with bed bugs and he was bitten all over his body. The conditions at that prison are filthy and inhumane.
John does not have regular access to a dentist or a doctor. It took months before he was able to see a dentist but instead of filling his tooth they extracted it. He was attacked by his cellmates and received injuries to his face, cheek and eye. The guards have threatened him many times. He is confined to his cell 23 hours and 45 minutes every day and only allowed out for 15 minutes, 4 days a week. That is one hour of sunshine per week! He is suffering psychologically and physically. It is during those 15 minutes that he calls me and other family members. He depends on people on the outside, mostly his family, for everything. John’s basic human rights are being violated. Local justice scholars are publishing stories citing the “deplorable and deadly prison conditions” at this prison.
At John’s trial there was ample evidence to prove his innocence but that evidence was not presented in court. His lawyer only showed up 2 days for a 4 day trial. The jury did not hear his side of what happened, which the evidence supports. No evidence was presented, no witnesses were called, there was no ballistics report and John was given contradictory advice from his lawyer. The trustworthiness and character of the sole witness against John, a convicted drug dealer, murderer and arsonist, who is also the alleged victim, was not questioned thoroughly by John’s lawyer, despite the fact that the entire case hinged on his accusation. John’s statement to the police asserting his innocence and explaining his version of the incident was not allowed into evidence. The police publicly misrepresented John in the press as a violent ex-US Marine — these, in short, are grave departures from the right of any accused to a fair trial.
We are heartbroken about the outcome of his trial and are appealing the verdict. He acted in self-defense. My son comes from a good home. He served his country. His brother was a Marine as well and is now a police officer. John is not a violent person, on the contrary, he is a very peaceful and compassionate person. He has done years of volunteer work and is very religious, he reads his Bible daily, loves helping other people and is always willing to give what he has to those in need. An animal rights activist, who loves his dog Nya, the two were inseparable before the incident. John had planned to ask his girlfriend to marry him the week after the incident happened. He never got a chance to ask her and unfortunately the relationship did not survive.
Please donate to our cause so that we can retain a lawyer for John’s appeal and new trial and he can eventually be exonerated. We are humbly asking for your help in our quest for justice for John as well as your prayers.
Thank you for taking the time to read John’s story.
WHAT YOUR CONTRIBUTION WILL DO:
Pay for John’s lawyer for his Appeal and New Trial
Pay for necessary living expenses like food and water (which is very costly) to keep John alive and as healthy as possible
Use of phone at the prison ~ $10 per 10min call