BG woman sentenced for involuntary manslaughter loses appeal


A Bowling Green woman sentenced to prison for her role in the overdose death of her former husband has lost her appeal.

A jury on April 18, 2022, found Heather Henning guilty of involuntary manslaughter, corrupting another with drugs, and trafficking in a fentanyl-related compound.

Wood County Common Pleas Judge Joel Kuhlman in June 2022 imposed a sentence of 8 years minimum and 12 years maximum in prison.

Henning, 36, appealed the sentence.

She argued in her appeal that the state erred in allowing its key witness, who had custody of her minor children, to embellish her comments with biased testimony with the motive to keep custody of the children.

The 6th District Court of Appeals ruled the fact that the witness had custody of the children did not hinder the credibility of her testimony.

The trial court overruled Henning’s objection to the witness’ use of her notes if the event her memory needed to be refreshed.

The appeals court agreed, and stated the trial court did not abuse its discretion in permitting the witness to reference her notes during testimony.

During the trial, a state’s witness testified that Henning did not go to the hospital with her ex-husband but instead drove to Toledo for methadone, which is used by heroin addicts so they don’t relapse.

Henning said in her appeal that cross-examination of the witness was halted when he was asked what happens to a person who doesn’t get their methadone. The state objected that the witness was not a doctor or toxicologist and the trial court agreed.

Henning argued that the inability to question the witness about the effects on not getting methadone gave the jury the impressions she couldn’t care less about the deceased.

In her appeal, she also claimed the trial court repeatedly denied the admittance of an exhibit that contained evidence favorable to her.

The state only introduced text messages between Henning and her ex-husband on Jan. 6, 2021, and Dec. 8-11, 2020. The state objected to the defense request to introduce additional text messages because they were out-of-court statements and thus hearsay.

The appeals court ruled Henning was precluded from introducing her own statements into evidence.

However, the court found that the 461 messages from Feb. 29, 2020, to Jan. 6, 2021, were all from the deceased and not Henning.

The appeals court stated the trial court erred in ruling the exhibit was inadmissible, but that the error was harmless as the texts had no beneficial value.

On Jan. 6, 2021, Heather Henning drove to Toledo to purchase fentanyl from a drug dealer then returned to Bowling Green, where Jeffrey Henning was waiting.

On Jan. 7 at 2:30 a.m., she injected Jeffrey Henning with the fentanyl she purchased and at 9:39 a.m., called 911 to report he was unconscious and not breathing.

During the trial, the Lucas County coroner explained that a lethal dose of fentanyl is 5 nanograms per milliliter and Jeffrey Henning’s blood contained 463 nanograms per milliliter.

The appeals court on Aug. 18 filed its judgment affirming the sentence.

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