Defense Pushes for Community Service in Punishment Phase of Brent Benefield Trial

- The punishment phase of Brent Benefield's trial got off to a late start in Wichita County's 30th District Court.

On Friday, the jury found Benefield guilty of injury to a child causing the February 2012 death of his four month old son, Lucas.

They also found him guilty of continuous violence against his ex-wife, Sara Price.

Proceedings in the punishment phase of Brent Benefield's trial started three hours late.

A jury member went to the hospital so instead of starting at 10:30 a.m. an alternate was called in and it actually got underway at 1:30 p.m.

Since Benefield chose to have the jury decide his punishment, the defense asked them to recommend community supervision for him instead of prison.

And to prove Benefield was not a threat to society, 12 of 13 witnesses spoke about his character, including his eight year old daughter, Jenna.

One after one, relatives and friends described Benefield as a loving, quiet and calm man, who is gentle with children, follows rules and never displayed any violent behavior.

"He never hurt his sisters or ever attempted to hurt me. He wasn't raised in a violent environment. He never saw violence at home," says Terri Doughtery, Benefield's mother.

However, the prosecution reminded witnesses that just three days ago jurors did find Benefield guilty of two violent crimes that reportedly happened in his home.

And one of those crimes caused the death of of his four month old son, Lucas, which prosecutors say is worth a punishment of prison time, not community supervision.

Closing arguments will begin Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. in 30th District Court then go to the jury.

While jurors will decide if Benefield receives community supervision or prison the judge will decide the length and condition of o his sentence, which could be up to 30 years.

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