Trial begins in '02 fatal stabbing

Prosecutor says death was result of love triangle

December 04, 2003|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

More than a year after the son of a one-time noted local television personality was slain, the man accused of killing him went on trial yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court.

Corey Bennett -- the 22-year-old son of former WBAL-TV feature reporter Ray Bennett -- was fatally stabbed in the chest in April of last year outside his girlfriend's house in the 1600 block of Presbury St.

Samtoya Williams, 31, is charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing, which prosecutors said was committed during an argument stemming from a love triangle.

"Mr. Bennett tried to walk away. He tried to leave. But he did not make it because Mr. Williams confronted him and stabbed him to death," said Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Sites, who is prosecuting the case.

In opening statements yesterday, Williams' lawyer, John Sinclair Denholm, said there was no love triangle. He also said that Bennett had a pattern of beating his girlfriend, Nashon Logan, and that the killing was self-defense.

"All deaths are not crimes," Denholm told the jury. "The soldier who shoots the enemy -- that's an excusable homicide."

Logan testified yesterday that Bennett would frequently hit her. She said she is unsure who killed Bennett, a statement that contradicts what she told police in the days after the killing. At the time, she told detectives that Williams, whom she considered a brother, killed Bennett.

According to testimony, Logan and Bennett were in her bedroom at 10 p.m. when Williams knocked on the door. Bennett became angry and thought that Williams was "disrespecting" him, Logan testified.

The two men started fighting, then Bennett walked out of the house. Williams followed him, and Bennett was stabbed seconds later, according to testimony.

Bennett's father was a television reporter from 1976 until 1988. Ray Bennett had a segment called "Ray's Way" at the end of the 6 p.m. news.

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