Motion filed to drop murder charge against Rite Aid shooting suspect

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by WVEC.com

WVEC.com

Posted on October 28, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 8:51 AM

UPDATE 10/28/13:  Prosecutors are planning to drop the murder charge against a man accused of killing someone inside the Rite Aid store on Tidewater Dr. last year.

Bernell Benn claims he shot Ramon Colorado in self defense, after the two of them got into an argument about cutting in line at the pharmacy. Colorado also fired shots at Benn.

Commonwealth’s Attorney spokesperson Amanda Howie explained Monday a motion has been filed to change the murder charge to voluntary manslaughter.

“It is our intention to amend the indictment and proceed with voluntary manslaughter in discussion between the Commwealth’s Office and the defense attorney,” Howie noted.

A hearing must be scheduled to approve the change. Trial is set to begin February 24, 2014.

NORFOLK-The man accused in the August shooting of a Norfolk man inside a Rite Aid has been released on bond.

41-year-old Bernell Duvall Benn went before a Circuit Court judge Wednesday morning and was granted a $55,000 bond, $25,000 of it secured, according to Paula Miller of the Norfolk city jail.

Benn made bail and was released around 5:40 p.m., said Miller.

Norfolk police say the shooting inside a drug store Aug. 16th was sparked by Benn accusing the victim of breaking in line at the pharmacy counter.

Benn allegedly shot 42-year-old Ramon Colorado Jr around 2:00 p.m. at the Rite Aid on Tidewater Drive.

Colorado was a former deputy for the Norfolk Sheriff's Office from April 1994-May 1996 and was terminated, Paula Miller told 13News.

He also served as an auxiliary deputy sheriff in Chesapeake from December 1996 to December 2006. He returned March 2008 and was terminated that September, said Major David Hackworth, spokesman for the Chesapeake Sheriff's Office.

Police say Colorado went up to the counter and got in line behind a customer, prompting Benn, who was also in line, to accuse him of cutting in line. The men exchanged words and then Colorado used pepper spray on Benn, at which point, Benn pulled a gun, walked up to Colorado and fired, police stated. At that point, Colorado pulled his handgun, fired and then fell to the floor.

Both men were taken to the hospital, where Colorado died.

Benn was treated and released and taken to jail on charges of murder and use of a firearm. 

According to court records, Benn has another hearing date set for Nov. 26th.

 

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