The Norman Transcript

Crime/Courts

January 30, 2014

Victim’s family wants justice

NORMAN — As the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the death of woman in Newalla, the woman’s family is speaking up in an attempt to find out the truth behind her death.

Melissa Henderson, 35, died Jan. 12 after being run over by a Suburban the night before in front of her boyfriend’s Newalla home. Sheriff officials confirmed that her boyfriend was driving the vehicle when Henderson was run over.

The boyfriend is currently on probation after being convicted of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in Oklahoma County.

The incident is being investigated as a traffic collision, said Meghan McCormick, sheriff’s office spokeswoman. As they continue the investigation, detectives are waiting on reports from the Medical Examiner’s Office and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, she said.

Deputies responded to a report of an injured person around 6:30 p.m. Jan 11 in the 17000 block of Blueridge Road West when they found Henderson. She was transported to the OU Medical Center, where she underwent surgery but was pronounced dead the next day.

“I think (her boyfriend) told the officer when he came out there that he bumped her,” said Henderson’s great-aunt, Brenda Rogers. “But she had a torn aorta, crushed pelvis, life sustaining injuries. She was brain dead when she was brought to the hospital.”

Henderson’s mother, Barbara Miller, said she heard that the boyfriend had put the vehicle in drive, then put it in reverse, backed up and heard Henderson scream. Another story circulating was that Henderson was pepper spraying her boyfriend before the incident.

“She would not have been behind the vehicle if she was pepper spraying him,” Miller said.

Henderson’s friends and family said the couple was fighting the night before the incident and the day she was run over.

“The night before, she called me up and she was crying. She was upset because (her boyfriend) was threatening to do all kinds of things to her,” said Henderson’s friend, Jeremy Maples. “He’d burned her with cigarettes and she said in the past, he tased her with a taser.”

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