Homicide suspect withdraws guilty plea
A Florida man accused of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence withdrew his guilty plea after a judge refused to accept a negotiated plea agreement during a sentencing hearing Thursday.
Benfort Hendricks, 40, of Orlando, also had been charged with failure to stop at the scene of an accident in connection with a 2006 wreck that killed his father-in-law and seriously injured two others.
He withdrew his pleas after Superior Court Judge Carl Brown refused the negotiated plea agreement with the prosecutor, who had asked for a five-year prison sentence. Hendricks previously withdrew a similar plea when the judge refused an agreement that included three years of incarceration.
Hendricks was arrested Feb. 3, 2006, and charged with the three charges, plus weaving and possession of an alcoholic beverage while operating a vehicle. He had been driving his wife and father-in-law on Furys Ferry Road when his Ford Expedition crossed the center line and hit two other vehicles, seriously injuring the drivers. His father-in-law, Cordell Harmon, 61, died in the crash.
Police say Hendricks fled and was found three hours later at a hotel.
Hendricks was arrested for failure to appear in court and has been held in the Columbia County Detention Center since Jan. 17, according to jail personnel. His case will be rescheduled for trial.
The following accounts were taken from reports from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Additional reports are available at www.columbiacountyso.org:
Truck stolen while owner in bathroom
A Grovetown man told police that a woman he had just met stole his truck.
The man, 60, told police that just before 7 p.m. Tuesday, he met the woman in downtown Augusta and took her to his home to discuss babysitting his grandchildren. He said he left the keys to his Ford F-250 truck on the kitchen counter when he went to the bathroom.
When he returned to the kitchen, where she had been, his keys were gone. He went outside and saw her driving away in his $10,000 truck. He told police he knew only her first name.
Rocks are thrown through window
Police were called to a Martinez residence Wednesday after its owner said someone had thrown rocks through a window.
The 20-year-old owner said that between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., someone threw three rocks through a large, single-pane window of his home. Police found three rocks in the kitchen and living room.
Aluminum siding taken off building
A Martinez woman called police Tuesday to report that someone had stolen aluminum siding.
The 61-year-old said that between noon and 6 p.m., someone had taken $450 in aluminum siding off the storage building in her backyard.
Bicycle stolen and property vandalized
A Martinez man told police Tuesday that someone stole his bicycle and vandalized his property.
The 25-year-old said that between 5:45 and 7:10 p.m., someone stole the $75 Murray bicycle he had left outside his home. Someone had removed a cover from his boat and searched through a compartment on it.
He said that a portable basketball goal had been pushed into his swimming pool behind his home.
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