Posted 5/15/2018 03:30 pm
Updated 7 days ago
A Pulaski County Circuit Judge denied a Little Rock attorney's request on Monday to be released from jail for contempt of court in connection with allegedly taking $25,000 of his client's money.
On Friday, Matthew M. Henry, 45, was charged in Little Rock District Court with felony theft of property for the $25,000. He pleaded not guilty.
Henry has been in jail since March 22 for contempt of court after Pulaski County Circuit Judge Mackie Pierce in January ordered him to return the $25,000 to his client. Henry never did.
Last month, Little Rock criminal defense attorney Jeff Rosenzweig asked in court filings that Henry be released from jail.
"It is now obvious that Henry is not able to pay the $25,000," Rosenzweig said in an April 25 motion for finding that further incarceration for civil contempt is futile and unconstitutional.
On Tuesday, Rosenzweig told Arkansas Business that he will probably ask the Arkansas Supreme Court to look at the case.
"From a civil standpoint, our position is this is an imprisonment for debt, which is illegal," he said Tuesday.
In March, the Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct ordered Henry's law license be temporarily suspended.
An estimated $400,000 in client funds stemming from a Jefferson County probate case was deposited into Little Rock attorney Henry's client account in August 2015 and "are not presently accounted for by Mr. Henry," according to a March 7 order of interim suspension filed by the Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct.