Jury Finds Benefield Guilty of All Charges


After almost eight hours of deliberations, the jury in the case against a Wichita Falls man accused of causing injuries that led to his infant son's death found him guilty on all charges.

Family members of Brent Benefield lashed out at prosecutors after the jury's verdict in the case was read.

Benefield was found guilty of injury to a child causing the February 2012 death of his four-month-old son Lucas. 

The jury also found him guilty of continuous violence against his wife Sarah Price.

After 30th District Court Judge Bob Brotherton read the jury's verdict, Benefield's family yelled at lead prosecutor John Gillespie stating he should be the one in jail.
The family was escorted out of the courthouse but not before Judge Brotherton told them that if they had another outburst, they would be banned from the rest of the trial.

Also, as part of the jury's verdict, they declared Benefield's hands a deadly weapon when he shook Lucas causing brain injuries that led to his death.

Testimony in the punishment phase of the trial will begin on Monday at 10:30 a.m.
During closing arguments Friday morning, defense attorneys said a verdict other than "not guilty" would not serve justice in this case. They said they brought the jury character witnesses, like Benefield's ex-girlfiend and ex- wife, who testified what a great, loving man and father he was. They said a man like that wouldn't randomly lash out and shake his infant one day.

Attorneys also brought up testimony from the doctor that performed the autopsy on Lucas. That doctor said it was impossible to time the infant's injuries and determine when the fatal injury occurred.

And, they told jurors Benefield's wife, Sarah Price, was suffering from postpartum depression and not taking her medication, and told a counselor she had thoughts of throwing the baby out the window.

Prosecutors called the defense's arguments "the spaghetti approach." They say the defense is throwing a bunch of theories at the jurors and hoping one sticks, much like throwing a bunch of spaghetti at a wall in hopes one noodle sticks.

Prosecutors also reminded jurors that a couple of expert witnesses testified that a shaken baby shows the effects of being shaken immediately.

In a recorded interview with police, Benefield admits to being the only adult home right before Lucas was reported unresponsive, so prosecutors say the timeline point to Benefield.

They say they brought some of the nation's top pediatricians that work at Cook Children's Hospital in to give their expert opinions that Lucas died from blunt force trauma to the head and that now it's up to them to find Benefield guilty and give Lucas the justice he deserves.

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