Crime

Fayette County jury begins deliberations in UK student's death

Adrian Benton looked toward the jury during opening testimony in the trial of Benton, accused of murder and other charges in the 2006 death of UK student John Mattingly IIILexington, Ky., on Monday May 16, 2011.   Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff
Adrian Benton looked toward the jury during opening testimony in the trial of Benton, accused of murder and other charges in the 2006 death of UK student John Mattingly IIILexington, Ky., on Monday May 16, 2011. Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff

A Fayette County jury considering the case of a man accused of complicity to murder in the death of a University of Kentucky student deliberated late into the night Monday.

In addition to complicity to murder, Adrian Lamont Benton, 31, is on trial in Fayette Circuit Court on charges of robbery, complicity to robbery, assault, tampering with physical evidence and wanton endangerment. Some charges have multiple counts.

John Graves Mattingly III was shot in the head after robbers invaded his home on Wilson Street on May 25, 2006. He never regained consciousness and died July 10, 2006, according to court testimony.

Benton and Raymond Larry Wright, 29, were charged with murder after Mattingly's death and were slated to be tried together.

Prosecutors were seeking the death penalty for both, but Wright pleaded guilty to murder and two counts of complicity to commit robbery as the jury was being selected. Wright admitted he shot Mattingly.

Prosecutors have recommended a life sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years for Wright. The surprise guilty plea from Wright meant the death penalty no longer was a sentencing option for Benton.

Instead, Benton could be sentenced to 20 years in prison to life without the possibility of parole if he's convicted on all charges.

The jury started deliberations about 4 p.m.

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