Schlitterbahn co-owner appears before judge for first time in Wy - KCTV5

Schlitterbahn co-owner appears before judge for first time in Wyandotte County

Posted: Updated:
Jeff Henry is charged with second-degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated child endangerment. (Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office) Jeff Henry is charged with second-degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated child endangerment. (Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office)
WYANDOTTE COUNTY, KS (KCTV) -

UPDATE: Henry's lawyer said that the judge decided not to use GPS to track Henry, but that he did surrender his passport. 

The Kansas Attorney General’s office said with Henry’s access to funds and private planes as well as his connections to areas where extradition may not be granted back to the United States, the GPS device would be a key component in ensuring he would be back in court.

However, Judge Robert Burns disagreed.

While Henry chose to keep comments to himself, his lawyers were passionate in their defense. 

Henry’s attorneys spoke on his behalf, saying that he was a kind eccentric man who never would have imagined something like this happening.

“In his words, he told me there’s not a day that goes by that he does not think about Caleb Schwab,” said Ron Barroso. “He is torn apart by what happened out there and, as you know, no one has ridden that ride since that terrible accident happened.”

As far as the indictment and charges against him, Henry’s lawyers had strong words, calling the reported injuries and the sped-up timeline lies.

"Mr. Henry was not involved in the operations part of the park, so if that in fact is true, which we don't believe is true, that was never reported to him," he said.

“I can tell you that those allegations I read in the indictment are ludicrous,” said Barroso. “The issue about pushing this thing forward is totally false. If anything, the construction schedule was moved back by over a year and a half to accommodate safety issues that they thought were paramount in this thing.”

"Jeff Henry is a creative individual," said Barroso. "Yes, he may be somewhat eccentric, but he is a kind person and his hope and concern in building this park was for the safety first of those people of Wyandotte County and all the other people that came to visit the park, and he wanted to make sure that it was done in the best possible way."

Attorneys are due back in court in three weeks to have a status update, which Henry will not have to be there for. The trial is set to begin on September 10.

Previous coverage is below.


The co-owner of Schlitterbahn and one of the people who helped create a water slide that took the life of a 10-year-old boy will face a Wyandotte County judge for the first time on Thursday.

Jeff Henry is charged with second-degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated child endangerment.

Henry’s attorney, Carl Cornwell spoke out after his client posted bond on Wednesday, saying the case has no place in criminal court.

“This is a case where they're gonna try to put my client in the penitentiary for 117 months, 10 years, this is just ridiculous,” Cornwell said.

According to a grand jury indictment, both Henry and the designer of the slide lacked the technical and engineering expertise needed to create a ride like Verruct.

The 62-year-old had been jailed in Texas since late March after he was indicted on charges including second-degree murder in the 2016 death of Caleb Schwab at the water park in Kansas City, KS.

Schlitterbahn official jailed in connection to 10-year-old boy's waterslide death

Henry will face a Wyandotte County judge at 2 p.m. to determine whether or not he should have a GPS device put on his ankle, or if he would need to turn in his passport. 

The KCTV5 Investigative Unit has been taking a closer look at Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeff Henry and his past. They discovered troubling information, including allegations of addiction and behavior problems. 

Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.). All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.