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Murder trial start delayed 90 days

News-Examiner -

A murder trial that was scheduled to start Monday has been delayed about 90 days.

A jury trial for Mark Bennett had been scheduled to begin Monday morning. Bennett’s attorney asked for a 90-day extension and Fayette Circuit Court Judge Hubert Branstetter agreed to move it to Jan. 13, 2020.

Bennett is charged in the murder of Michael Shane Hamilton on Sept. 20, 2018.

According to documents in the case, Bennett, 19, was one of three men who went to Hamilton’s home, thinking that Hamilton had been involved in a drug deal gone bad. 

The three men confronted Hamilton in the home he shared with his fiancee. Hamilton denied involvement. Then, it is alleged, Bennett shot Hamilton, 37, in the head with a handgun, killing him.

Bennett, Franklin A. Logan Jr. and Blake A. Morehead allegedly fled the scene. Local police have called it a tragic case of mistaken identity. All faced similar criminal charges.

Two men charged in the case, Logan and Morehead, have already pleaded guilty under terms of plea agreements. A third suspect, Brady Price, filed a hand-written document with the court outlining a plea agreement that he hopes the prosecuting attorney will consider.

Morehead pleaded guilty to one count of attempted robbery in exchange for the court dropping the other charges against him. Branstetter sentenced him to serve 13 years, with eight at the Department of Correction and five years suspended to probation.

Logan had been scheduled to start trial on Oct. 15. 

The other defendant is Rodney Bennett – Mark’s father – whose trial is scheduled for Nov. 4.

According to police, Rodney Bennett, 45, had told his son and Logan to go to the West 21st Street neighborhood where Hamilton lived to try to make good on the bad drug deal. He had named another man, called AJ, as having furnished bad drugs.

Price, 23, is believed to have driven Mark Bennett and Morehead to the Elephant Hill Trailer Court, where Hamilton lived with his fiance, and then drove them away after the shooting.