Video from Vernon gun camera used in trial to send man to prison

Local News

VERNON (KFDX/KJTL) — Video from the Vernon Police Department’s new gun cameras, the first in the state, help send a man who almost ran over an officer to prison.

Shawn Benson, 32, was found guilty of three felony counts after a two-day trial.

After the two hour deliberation by the jury, Benson elected to have judge Dan Mike Bird do sentencing.

Benson was sentenced to 30 years for aggravated assault of an officer, 20 years for unlawful possession of a firearm and 20 years for evading arrest with a deadly weapon, which will be served concurrently.

The charges stem from a chase in November 2018 when police went to arrest Benson on a felony warrant. They found his car on Wilbarger Street, and Chief Randy Agan and a detective pulled in behind him while another officer got in front with her car.

After he was boxed in, one officer approached from the front while Agan approached the driver with a gun drawn and asked him to step out.

This still from Agan’s gun camera shows Benson just before he put the car in drive and sped toward the woman officer, who pushed off the front of his car and dove to the side.

Officers pursued Benson out of town at speeds more than 110 miles per hour.

They said Benson abandoned his car on a Waggoner Ranch Road and ran.

With the assistance from a ranch helicopter, Benson was found, and a gun was found inside his car.

District Attorney Staley Heatly said it’s the first trial when they have used gun camera video as evidence in a trial.

They were purchased with donations from the Vernon Auto Group and put in use just before this incident.

They are attached below the gun barrel and activate whenever a gun is pulled from the holster.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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