City man pleads guilty to manslaughter

He gets 10 years in killing of former reporter's son

July 21, 2004|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore man pleaded guilty yesterday in city Circuit Court to manslaughter in the fatal stabbing of the son of a one-time local television personality.

Samtoya Williams, who also pleaded guilty to distribution of cocaine, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for manslaughter and 10 years for distribution, which will be served at the same time. Judge Kaye Allison suspended an additional 10 years from the distribution charge.

Williams, 31, said at a trial in December that he killed Corey Bennett, 22, in an act of self-defense.

Bennett, son of former WBAL-TV feature reporter Ray Bennett, was stabbed in the chest in April 2002 outside his girlfriend's house in the 1600 block of Presbury St. Ray Bennett was a television reporter from 1976 until 1988.

Williams was charged with first- and second-degree murder in the killing, which prosecutors said was committed during an argument over a woman. He was acquitted of those charges in a December trial, but the jury deadlocked on the manslaughter charge.

Jurors deliberated over five days, an unusually long time in Circuit Court. After the verdict, several said they did not find some of the witnesses to be credible.

Corey Bennett's girlfriend, Nashon Logan, testified at the December trial that Bennett hit her on occasion. She said she was unsure who killed Bennett, a statement that contradicts what she told police in the days after the killing.

At that time, she told detectives that Williams, whom she considered a brother, killed Bennett.

According to her testimony during the December trial, she and Bennett were in her bedroom at 10 p.m. when Williams came upstairs. The two men started fighting before Bennett walked out of the house, and Williams followed him, she said.

The defense contended that Bennett had a bat and hit Williams; the prosecution contended that Bennett was unarmed and that he did not strike Williams, who was carrying a knife, according to testimony.

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