Mississippi man pleads to federal charge of retaliation

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi man has admitted filing a false claim that he was owed $500,000 because an FBI agent and others refused to drop state criminal charges against him.

Robert Earl Henderson Jr., 49, of Jackson, pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of retaliating against a federal employee, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office in Jackson and the FBI.

Henderson filed papers in 2018 accusing an FBI agent, the Hinds County sheriff at the time, 20 unidentified officers and his own attorney of mistreatment, the news release said.

Then-Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith went on trial in 2016 on charges of conspiracy to hinder prosecution. Henderson, who had campaigned for Smith, testified that he took bribe money to Smith from three other people who were facing criminal charges. Smith’s 2016 trial ended with a hung jury. Smith was tried again in 2017, and a jury acquitted him.

In 2018, Smith was acquitted on a robbery charge, and jurors couldn’t decide whether to convict him of stalking.

Henderson filed papers in July 2018 in the Hinds County circuit clerk’s office after prosecutors refused to drop unrelated state charges of bribery and possessing a firearm as a felon against him, according to the news release from the FBI and the U.S. attorney. Those charges are still pending.

Smith died in September after being injured in a traffic accident.

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