Actor Dwight Henry is now in the custody of New Orleans police after surrendering on charges of theft.
NOPD spokesman Officer Frank Robertson told The Times-Picayune that Henry turned himself in at the Orleans Parish Prison central lockup at 8:49 a.m. Thursday (Nov. 20) morning. It’s unclear whether the entertainer arrived by himself or if he was accompanied by an attorney.
Court records reveal that Henry was freed from jail within hours and released on his own recognizance under an order from Criminal District Court Judge Frank Marullo.
Henry’s surrender comes amid a string of good fortune after he was cast as Hushpuppy’s father, Wink, in the Oscar-nominated film “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Henry later went on to land the role of Uncle Abram in “12 Years a Slave,” which won the Academy Award last year for Best Picture, as well as Marvin Gaye‘s father in “Sexual Healing,” which has been filmed but has no release date or distributor at this time.
The Times-Picayune reports that Henry was booked with one count of theft between $500 and $1,499. The 51-year-old actor is accused of stealing approximately $1,000 from the cash register of his former employer, the Buttermilk Drop Bakery. According to an arrest warrant obtained Nov. 12, two witnesses reported Henry stuffing the money in his pockets before leaving the bakery.
Prior to the theft, Henry worked at the Buttermilk Drop Bakery as head baker until 2012. Wayne E. Woods, the attorney representing the bakery, mentioned Wednesday that Henry threatened the bakery manager and the manager’s family with physical harm during the alleged theft last month.
“Basically, on Oct. 30, Mr. Henry entered their business and began removing cash out of the cash register,” Woods told the Times-Picayune. “It’s as simple as that. He also made physical threats toward the manager of the business.”
The newspaper noted that the threats were not detailed in the warrant, which alleges felony theft as the only cause for arrest. According to Woods, the threats were detailed in two notarized statements given to police investigators by the bakery manager, who asked that his name be withheld because he fears retaliation by Henry or his relatives.
Henry’s surrender marks the latest legal situation involving the entertainer. Court records expose several Orleans Parish arrests for Henry, which date as far back as 1988 with convictions for resisting a police officer and drug possession.
The actor’s most serious arrest occurred when he was booked with second-degree murder in connection with the stabbing death of Leroy Paige outside a Bywater apartment on Feb. 5, 2006. The administration under a former district attorney refused to charge Henry in that case.
The next hearing in Henry’s theft case was set for Jan. 19