PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Michael Sussman, lawyer for the family of DJ Henry, insists that evidence released Monday supports claims that Henry was not drunk at the time of the fatal shooting.
“There are new photographs of DJ interacting in the bar and if you look at them with any brief care, you’ll see someone who is fully functioning and interactive,” Sussman said Monday afternoon in a teleconference. “And I think there are also statements from witnesses that go to that as well.”
Sussman said the photographs are not yet available to the public as his legal team is continuously uploading vast amounts of the previously confidential evidence. Toxicology reports from Henry’s autopsy shortly after his death in October 2010 showed that the 20-year-old Henry had a blood alcohol content level of 0.13, over the legal limit of 0.08, when he struck Pleasantville Police Officer Aaron Hess with his vehicle after being ordered to move it from a fire lane. While on the hood of Henry's car, Hess shot his firearm through Henry's windshield, fatally wounding the Pace University student.
A sworn witness statement from Christine Leone of Pearl River, a classmate and friend of Henry, stated that the Pace University football player was not drinking in Finnegan’s Bar & Grill prior to the fatal shooting.
“The first person I saw when I walked in to the bar was DJ,” Leone said in the statement. “DJ did not have a drink in his hand.”
Leone said that Henry turned down her offers to drink.
“I offered DJ some of my drink but he refused because he was driving,” Leone said.
Brandon Cox, who was a friend of Henry’s and in the passenger seat when Pleasantville Police Officer Aaron Hess fired shots at Henry’s Nissan Altima, said in a sworn statement that Henry drank one cup of vodka before heading to the Thornwood bar.
“DJ had one drink, not sure how much the others drank, but there was still a good amount left in the bottle,” said Cox, noting that the drink was made in a standard plastic cup.
Cox was also grazed by a bullet in the left arm during the incident.
The statements are a part of previously confidential audio, video and police report documents that were released by Sussman Monday. Sussman said the reason to disclose the photographs and many other documents related to the case was to give the public the opportunity to access the information and make their own conclusion. The reports include an accident investigation that shows Henry was reportedly traveling at approximately 14.7 mph when he was driving through the Thornwood Shopping Center parking lot, as well as surveillance video of Henry handcuffed on the ground of the parking lot after the shooting, but prior to receiving medical attention.