Henley Can Travel, but Bail Increases : Pro football: Ram cornerback allowed to play away games if he meets $1-million bond, is supervised.
Darryl Henley, under indictment on drug charges, was granted permission Tuesday to travel to games, but a federal judge stunned the Ram cornerback and his attorneys by raising bail to $1 million and requiring that he be accompanied at all times--even while on the bench--by a court officer.
Henley, alleged to be the mastermind of a cocaine ring that transported drugs using a former Rams cheerleader as a courier, sought a change in his bail restrictions that would allow him to travel outside the seven-county Central District of California, which includes Orange and Los Angeles counties.
But Henley and his attorneys gasped when U.S. District Court Judge Gary L. Taylor suggested that his previously set bail of $200,000 was too low and should probably be increased to $2 million or $3 million to ensure he doesn’t flee while traveling with the team throughout the season.
“This is not about playing football,” Taylor said when Henley’s attorneys objected. “This is a case that has a maximum sentence of life in prison and a very large minimum sentence. . . . This is a dangerous and important case.”
Taylor increased bail, set last year by a federal magistrate, to $1 million. Taylor had expressed similar reservations when he recently set bail at $500,000 for Henley’s uncle, Rex Henley, who also is charged in the conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Rex Henley is considered to be a lesser player in the alleged crimes.
Taylor ruled that Henley’s $1 million bond could come from a “responsible” third party, such as the Rams, which would have to pledge in an affidavit to pay should Henley flee.
In addition, Henley will have to pay $100,000 in cash to the U.S. District Court clerk. The money will be refunded if Henley meets terms of his bail. Henley said that amount will likely come from his $350,000 contract with the Rams.
The court did not set a deadline on when the bond must be paid, but Henley’s attorneys were scrambling to make bail as soon as possible so the cornerback would be free to travel to San Diego for Thursday’s exhibition game against the Chargers.
Henley said his agent, Marvin Demoff, will meet with Rams President John Shaw regarding the situation.
In addition, the judge ruled Henley must be accompanied on the road by a court officer--either someone from pretrial services or the U.S. marshal’s office--even when Henley sits on the bench during the games.
It is likely that Jessie Flores, his pretrial services officer, will be assigned to accompany Henley. The court ruled Henley will have to pay the escort’s expenses.
Henley said he has no problem with a court officer accompanying him on out-of-town games and is in no way a flight risk.
“Why in the heck would I flee?” he said. “Why would I run? I’ve been (out on bail) for nine or 10 months. This isn’t fun.”
Roger L. Cossack, one of Henley’s attorneys, called Taylor’s initial recommendation of $2 million to $3 million bail “a major stumbling block” and said it would be impossible for Henley or his family to raise anywhere near the $200,000 to $300,000 that is typically required to secure the bond.
Even the $1 million will be tough to make, attorneys said.
“It will be up to the Rams or some other party,” said Gerald L. Chaleff, a Henley attorney.
After the hearing, Henley said he was happy to be able to travel and hoped to play Thursday.
Among other restrictions ordered Tuesday, Henley’s salary will go directly to the pretrial services division and will be held in escrow, to be paid to Henley for necessities, such as legal fees and living expenses.
When Henley is on the road and not on the playing field, in team meetings, or otherwise connected with official team gatherings, he must stay in the team’s hotel and cannot join in “social or extracurricular activities,” Taylor said. He also is prohibited from talking with any of the other defendants or witnesses in the case.
Times staff writer Mike Reilley contributed to this report.