HILLSBORO, Ore.- On August 25, 2022, Washington County Circuit Court Judge Ricardo Menchaca found Garth Patrick Beams guilty of second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon. On August 29, 2022, Judge Menchaca sentenced the defendant to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years. Deputy District Attorneys Rayney Meisel and Kate Glasson prosecuted the case against Mr. Beams. 

On July 19, 2018, the then 47-year-old defendant called 9-1-1 and reported he had “clobbered” his mother, later identified as 74-year-old Wendy Henson, with a baseball bat. He remained on the phone with dispatchers for the next 15 minutes detailing his many complaints about his mother. When asked whether he would provide aid to the victim, he indicated he was not interested in helping her. 

Tualatin police responded to the scene. They found Ms. Henson inside the home suffering from multiple wounds to her head. She was rushed to the hospital but later died from her injuries. 

“This was a cruel, unprovoked attack on a disabled, elderly woman,” DDA Meisel said in closing arguments, noting the killing was intentional and done out of frustration and rage. 

Ms. Henson is survived by her son, Michael Beams, who also lived in the home at the time of the attack. Mr. Beams provided powerful testimony to the Court as he delivered his victim impact statement.

“Garth’s crime shattered what was left of our family,” Mr. Beams told the Court. “There are only broken pieces to pick up. I feel stuck in a boxing match, fighting against bitterness and outrage.” He added, “In addition to dealing with the grief, moving out of the house was economically implausible for me. In a nasty twist of fate, every day, to this day, I have to walk past the location where [my brother] felled mom.”

Ms. Henson was a published author who wrote plays, novellas, and published a textbook during her time as a college screenwriting instructor. Her 2018 novella Honor Song was adapted from one of her award-winning screenplays. Ms. Hensen had a passion for the arts. She loved to talk about movies and the writing and actors that brought them to life. She had a reoccurring movie review column in Tualatin Life called, “Now Playing.”

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office wishes to acknowledge the work of Tualatin police and those involved in this investigation.

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
August 29, 2022