Duplin County man held on $1.5 million bond for attempted murder, robbery

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Duplin Co., NC Sheriff’s Office

KENANSVILLE, NC (WNCT) – The Duplin County Sheriff’s Office released more information about a recently-arrested suspect accused of trying to fatally shoot a man while he robbed him nearly two years ago.

Investigators said on Nov. 15, 2017, Brian Markelle Benson, of Beulaville, allegedly robbed a man and burglarized his home on Highway 111 North, just outside of Beulaville.

The victim told deputies Benson put a gun up to his head, and he heard the hammer falling forward as Benson pulled the trigger. The firing pin struck the primer on the bullet, but the cartridge failed to fire, likely saving the victim’s life.

Shortly after that incident, Benson was arrested for multiple charges including robbery with a dangerous weapon, first-degree burglary, kidnapping, and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.

Investigators later recovered the firearm used in the crime, and tests at the State Crime Lab determined the gun was capable of successfully firing bullets.

Based on that information, an arrest warrant on a charge of attempted first-degree murder was issued against Benson on June 12, 2019.

When deputies went to Benson’s last known residence to serve the warrant, they discovered he was on the run from authorities.

On Sunday, September 8, 2019, deputies learned Benson was causing a disturbance at a home on Willie Hatcher Road near Chinquapin.

Investigators learned Benson had used a gun to assault a female at the home, and he was considered armed and dangerous.

Witnesses at the scene told deputies Benson ran out of the back door of the residence into the wooded area.

Additional deputies were called in and a perimeter was set up to look for Benson. Air support from the Wayne County Sheriff’s office, NC State Highway Patrol Troopers, and the Beulaville Police Department officers also helped search for Benson.

Duplin County Sheriff’s deputies then learned Benson was seen running near several homes in the area.

A K-9 was deployed to track Benson and he was quickly apprehended.

Benson was arrested on multiple outstanding charges, and he had also had failed to appear in court on numerous occasions.

Benson was placed in the Duplin County Jail under a $1,512,500 bond.

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