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Troubles mount for man who lied to get free lawyer

A Louisa County man convicted of lying about his finances to qualify for a state-paid defense lawyer now faces additional prison time for beating his tenant.

Thanks to a series of news reports, William Henry became the “poster child” for what the county prosecutor calls a “problem with the system” that allows people with means to fraudulently obtain court-appointed lawyers.

In Henry’s case, when repeatedly charged with crimes over several years, he failed to mention that he owned a house and received rental income from a tenant. For each case, Henry was provided with a lawyer paid with state money.

A judge convicted Henry of fraud and perjury Oct. 24.

Now, Henry has a felony assault conviction, as well. A jury this week found him guilty of a “brutal” 2010 attack on his tenant, according to a statement from Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire, published in The Central Virginian. The jury recommended a five year sentence.

Henry is to be sentenced for fraud and perjury this month. Sentencing for the assault is in February.

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