Date set in Alston murder trial

Jul. 23, 2014 @ 07:53 PM

The state’s case against three of the four men charged in the 2009 murder of Montrell Alston will proceed to trial.

Judge Allen Baddour declared 27-year-old Darius Benson’s case exceptional in Vance County Superior Court on Wednesday.

This means his case will advance directly to trial stages and be taken out of the case management system — which is a three-stage process to prepare cases for trial or resolve them before trial.

Benson, of 858 Eastway Drive, was arrested in March and charged with first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and first-degree burglary.

Assistant District Attorney Bill Griffin is prosecuting the case and David Waters represents Benson.

The court is scheduled to hear motions for this case on Sept. 8.

Co-defendants Jemel Bullock, of 422 Old Epsom Road, and Alan J. Gibson, of 1316 Lehman St., have also been charged with first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and first-degree burglary in connection with the shooting death of Alston, 28, of 687 Adams St.

Bullock and Gibson are in Vance County jail on $200,000 bond.

Travis Kingsberry, 31, of 159 Frank Sneed Road, Kittrell, is the fourth co-defendant involved in the case.

Officials said Kingsberry is in federal custody and hasn’t been served warrants in this case.

The district attorney’s office is not seeking the death penalty in Gibson’s case.

Assistant District Attorney Allison Capps said Benson’s case will also not be declared capital.

Alston was shot in his home at 1:45 a.m. Friday, Jan. 9, 2009.

He was pronounced dead after Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived on scene.

Robert Smith, 53, of 687 Adams St., Henderson, was also shot.

He was taken to Maria Parham Medical Center, but Smith’s injuries were not life threatening.

At the time, officers said robbery may have been the motive for the incident but would not comment further.

 

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.