Murder Suspect Benjamin Set to Plead Self-Defense

Self-defense will be the plea of one of the suspects in last month’s shooting death of a Daviess County teen.

Attorney Michael Chestnut, who represents 19-year-old Lucas Benjamin, filed notice in Daviess Superior Court on Tuesday that the defense of “justifiable reasonable force and/or alleged deadly force” will be offered up during the trial.

Now Benjamin (along with Logan Evans and Heaven Berry) are charged in connection with the shooting of 17-year-old Devan Burris of Washington back on December 7th along Oak Grove Road in Washington. The motion filed by Benjamin’s attorney states that both Benjamin and Evans had the right to use force when Burris and his friend Donald Krutchen attacked both of them. According to a probable-cause affidavit, Benjamin told Washington Police that the meeting between him, Evans, and Burris was to complete a drug sale. Burris and Krutchen then pulled out a pellet gun that was intended to look like a real gun and attacked both Benjamin and Evans. Evans then took out a shotgun and shot Burris in the neck according to the affidavit.

Krutchen and an unidentified man then took Burris to the Daviess Community Hospital emergency room where he was pronounced dead from the gunshot wound. Benjamin was arrested shortly after the shooting took place. Evans (with the help of Berry) turned himself in to police a few days later.

This motion marks the second motion in two weeks that has been filed by Chestnut. Last week, he filed a change of venue motion asking for a potential trial to be held outside of Daviess County because the trial would not be a fair one. A hearing was previously set for this week on that motion, but has since been postponed to March 5th.