Ex-NFL player gets no break on child support

Judge scolds Travis Henry for squandering his riches

By Ben Smith
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
02/19/2009

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A DeKalb County judge on Thursday swatted down a request by former pro football player Travis Henry for a temporary cut in child support payments for one of the nine children he fathered by as many women.

Superior Court Judge Clarence Seeliger’s ruling came at the end of a nearly all-day hearing on whether the former Denver Broncos running back can still afford to pay $3,000 monthly to the mother of his 5-year-old son.

Henry’s attorney, Randall M. Kessler, said Henry cannot pay that much now because he’s no longer earning a paycheck in the National Football League and is in danger of going to prison on federal drug charges.

Robert Wellon, the lawyer for his son’s mother, Jameshia Beacham, argued that Henry spent thousands of thousands of dollars on jewelry, cars, a new home and other purchases the former football player refused to name because of the pending criminal case against him.

Henry, 30, was arrested in Colorado last fall on felony cocaine possession charges. His arraignment is scheduled to take place in April, his attorneys said. He paid a $400,000 bond is currently under house arrest in Colorado.

Wellon spent two hours grilling Henry on his spending habits. The lawyer repeatedly questioned Henry about why he made multiple cash withdrawals of up to $70,000 after he lost his job with the Broncos. Henry refused to answer. “All those big withdrawals have to do with my [criminal] case,” Henry said.

But Henry also expressed regret for his actions.

“Now that I look back on my life, not all of my decisions were good, and now I’m paying for it,” Henry said. “I just want to make good. … I want to take care of my children. I want to get my life back together.”

The judge has yet to rule on Henry’s request for a permanent reduction in child support payments. Seeliger said Henry will have to answer the questions he refused to answer Thursday before the judge will consider that request. Kessler said Henry would comply.

After the hearing Kessler said that because of Seeliger’s ruling his client may seek a jury trial on the request for a permanent reduction in child support payments. “We will stick with it,” Kessler said. “And we will prevail.”

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