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Grand jury: ‘No bill’ in Playstation shooting

A Jefferson County grand jury returned a ‘no bill’ on a man who said he shot a man who tried to shoot him during a robbery.

The grand jury declined to indict Donovan Banks in the fatal June shooting of Devondre Benjamin.

Corey Kneeland, assistant district attorney, said the no bill was passed down Aug. 1. He said he does not know why the grand jury chose not to indict Banks but, as assistant DA, his job is to present the evidence to the grand jury for them to make the decision.

Some of the issues that are typically brought before a grand jury include crime scene photos, forensics, and communication, such as text messages and phone calls, between the different parties. In addition, a grand jury must be instructed on the law such as legal definitions of murder, manslaughter, criminal negligent homicide, aggravated assault and, if there is evidence that might present defense, make the grand jury aware of this in case self-defense is applicable.

The people on the grand jury then deliberate the case among themselves alone before coming to a conclusion.

 

 

Port Arthur police received the 911 call about the shooting at about 12:25 a.m. June 25 at Park Central Apartments, 8580 Park Central Blvd.

According to the arrest warrant, Banks was the second person to call police about the incident. He identified himself to the dispatcher and said he had shot someone.

He said he was to meet a person wearing a gray sweatshirt nicknamed “Googie” to buy a Playstation. “Googie,” later identified as Devondre Benjamin, 19, pulled a gun and attempted to rob Banks.

Benjamin fired a shot as Banks slapped the gun away then pulled out his own gun and shot him. The victim was found in a doorway leading to an upstairs apartment.

Banks was arrested and bond was set at $500,000. He remained in jail until Aug. 1, when the no bill was handed down.

Benjamin’s was the eighth confirmed homicide in Port Arthur this year.