29 year-old Billy Lee Henderson is in the Missoula County Jail on $100,000 bond for allegedly terrorizing, beating and holding a woman hostage at her home for five days before she escaped.

At Henderson’s Missoula Justice Court appearance via video from the Missoula County Jail on Tuesday, Deputy Missoula County Attorney Mark Handelman explained to substitute Judge Shane Vannatta why he requested such a high bond amount.

“The defendant in this matter repeatedly strangled, punched, kicked, and otherwise physically terrorized the pregnant victim in this case over a period of five days,” began Handelman. “This also includes holding a BB gun to her head, threatening her with bear spray, squirting hand sanitizer in her eyes. He further destroyed her phone to prevent her from contacting law enforcement, or anyone for help.”

Handelman detailed Henderson’s extensive and violent criminal history.

“The defendant has prior violent offenses including multiple felonies including a 2011 felony theft, criminal mischief, a 2012 burglary, and several misdemeanors, including a 2014 Partner or Family Member Assault,” he said.

The victim was only able to escape when she asked the defendant to go for food, and when he left the house, she went to the Missoula Police Station to report the incident. Officers went to the residence and Henderson fled only to be apprehended by Missoula police.

Henderson was charged with felony strangulation, assault with a weapon, unlawful restraint, partner or family member assault and destruction of a communication device.

The defendant’s mother and grandmother were in the courtroom and asked Judge Vannatta if Henderson could be placed on house arrest at their home in Missoula, and that his bail be reduced to $20,000.

Vannatta set bail at $100,000 due to the ‘serious nature of the alleged offenses’.


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