Salina man faces murder charges / Concordia PD mourns loss of Officer Henry

CONCORDIA – A Salina man now faces murder charges following the death of an off-duty Concordia Police Officer Monday.

Reports from the Kansas Highway Patrol say veteran Concordia Police Officer Marc Henry, 48, died in a two-vehicle accident at 2:30 p.m. Monday, in the southbound lanes of US 81, in Ottawa County, at the 178th Mile Marker.

Ottawa County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Calvin Stewart of Salina on scene following the accident. He now faces charges of being a pedestrian under the influence and murder in the second degree.

According to a KHP spokesman, a pedestrian – believed to be Stewart – was walking along the southbound US 81 in Ottawa County. According to reports, a white Kia vehicle slowed and stopped in the lane of traffic to avoid striking Stewart. Henry, operating a motorcycle, reportedly didn’t see the stopped Kia in time to avoid the accident and struck the rear of the Kia.

The driver of the Kia was not identified by authorities.

Henry was transported to the Ottawa County Health Center in Minneapolis where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Ottawa County Sheriff Keith Coleman said “the incident is still under investigation.”

According to local witnesses who spoke to the Beloit Call on Tuesday, Stewart was reported as being involved  in a confrontation around 11:30 a.m., at the Casey's east location off US 24 in Beloit, three hours before the fatal accident on Monday. Beloit Police Chief Dave Elam, reported that officers responded to the incident  in which Stewart was a victim of a crime.

Henry was born in Salina and served in the National Guard in the Army and Marine Corps. He had 20 years of military experience, and served 10 years of active duty.

Before joining the Concordia Police Department in 2012, Henry worked for the Clay Center Police Department and the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

“He wanted nothing more than to be a police officer,” Concordia Police Chief Bruce Johnson told reporters. “He helped recruit several of our officers.”

The passing of Henry was especially emotional for Johnson.

“I worked with him on the street in 2012,” he said.    “We not only lost a great officer, I lost a great friend.”

An official statement was released shortly after the accident   by Concordia City Manager Amy Lange.

“We are deeply saddened at the loss of a great colleague and friend,” Lange said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Marc's family, friends, and colleagues.”

Henry will be buried at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Concordia, with full military honors being conducted by the Kansas National Guard.

The family requests that all guests who attend wear something blue, if possible. In lieu of flowers, the family also requests that donations be made to the Katie O'Connor Animal Shelter, or the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in care of the Chaput-Buoy Funeral Home.

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