The first of three defendants charged with the murder of a Tyler mother is going to trial.
Monday, both the State and defense told Judge Jack Skeen, Jr., they are ready for trial. Jury selection lasted for more than 5 hours Monday afternoon and more than 30 witnesses were sworn in. On Monday evening, the jury was sworn in.
Evidence is expected to be presented at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. The defendant, Dennis Bendy, told the Judge that if a jury finds him guilty of murder, he would like the Judge to sentence him instead of the jury. If found guilty, Bendy's punishment range will be between 5 and 99 years or life in prison.
Dennis Bendy is charged with the murder of 20-year-old Briana Young. Young and her toddler were at Tyler's P.T. Cole Park in the summer of 2013 when investigators say Young was caught in a rival gang crossfire and killed.
Police believe that Bendy accompanied Rakheem Lamone Goldstein to the park, looking for a rival gang member.
Goldstein and another man, Elisha Juwan Williams, are still awaiting trial on first degree murder charges.
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