Sherman man gets 15 years for gun possession

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
A Sherman man was sentenced to 15 years in prison this week on an unlawful possession of a gun charge in the 1th state district court.

Damien Benton, 40, of Sherman, was sentenced to 15 years in prison this week after a jury convicted him of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon at the close of a three-day trial. The jury also found that Benton used or exhibited a deadly weapon during the offense, according to a press release from the Grayson County District Attorney's Office.

Judge Jim Fallon of the 15th District Court presided over the trial. Benton will be required to serve at least half of his sentence before being considered for parole.

The D.A.'s office said the case began on June 6, 2020, when Sherman Police dispatch received a 911 call from Benton who told dispatchers that he had discovered a dead child near the intersection of Sycamore and East Street. During the 911 call, the dispatchers could hear the distinct sound of gunshots.

Ultimately, multiple Sherman officers responded to the location where they located Benton nearby. Once the scene was secured, officers were able to determine that there was no dead child, and that Benton had actually thought a pile of wood was a deceased person. Several witnesses identified Benton as walking around the neighborhood with a rifle, pointing it at various homes in the area, as well as firing the same gun. Ultimately, a rifle and numerous shell casings were discovered nearby.

Benton admitted the rifle belonged to him. A Sherman PD detective was able to collect gunshot residue  evidence from Benton.

Evidence presented to the jury at sentencing showed the defendant was a repeat offender who had previously been to the penitentiary for a firearm crime.

“The only way we can truly protect our community from repeat weapon offenders is by locking them up for as long as possible,” said Assistant District Attorney Nathan Young in the release. District Attorney Brett Smith added, “This is a great example of how local law enforcement came together to remove a violent, repeat offender from the community. It also would not have been possible without the citizens who served on this jury, listened to the evidence, and returned a just verdict.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Vanessa Vice helped with the case. Benton was represented by Sherman attorney Rick Dunn who had no statement about the  

Criminal Justice Editor for the Herald Democrat. She can be reached at JWhiteley@HeraldDemocrat.com.