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Thread: Miles Sterling Bench - Oklahoma Death Row

  1. #1
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    Miles Sterling Bench - Oklahoma Death Row


    Braylee Rae Henry


    Miles Sterling Bench


    DA Hicks files for death penalty


    Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks is now formally seeking the death penalty for Miles Sterling Bench if he is convicted of killing 16-year-old Braylee Rae Henry of Velma.

    Hicks has long signaled his intention to seek the death penalty against Bench, who is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly killing Henry on June 6, 2012, at the Tee Pee Totem convenience store in Velma where he worked as a clerk.

    For months now, Bench, now 22, has been represented by attorneys who work for the states public defender system and handle death-penalty cases. Hicks office filed paperwork Wednesday that makes his pursuit of the death penalty official.

    Bench is scheduled to be arraigned on the murder charge Thursday.

    Court proceedings in Benchs case were on hold for months as his attorneys pursued a possible determination that he was incompetent to stand trial. They dropped that pursuit last month.

    Bench was arrested hours after Henrys body was found in a pasture on the night of June 6, 2012. Police found a pool blood in a back room of the convenience store earlier that night.

    http://duncanbanner.com/breakingnews....dsVLCRqQ.dpuf
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    Bench asks for new lawyer, trial set in his murder case

    A judge entered a not guilty plea for Miles Sterling Bench on Thursday and tentatively set his murder trial for January, despite Bench’s complaints that he is not satisfied with his public defense attorneys.

    Bench, 22, interrupted Stephens County District Court Judge Joe Enos several times during a brief arraignment on a first-degree murder charge in the June 6, 2012 death of 16-year-old Braylee Rae Henry of Velma.

    Prosecutors notified the court Wednesday they are seeking the death penalty.

    Bench is being represented by Gary Henry, a court-appointed attorney with the Capital Division of the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, and Enos was addressing him when Bench interrupted.

    “I wish to speak,” Bench said. “Can I speak? I do not feel confident in who is representing me.”

    Enos reminded Bench that he asked the court to appoint counsel, the court did that and now recognizes Henry as his lawyer. Henry has represented several defendants facing the possibility of the death sentence in Oklahoma.

    Enos tried again to talk directly to Gary Henry, but Bench interrupted again, saying he had been told the judge in the case was Jerry Herberger. He is a special district judge in Stephens County who handled some preliminary proceedings in the case.

    “We’re not ready to enter a plea now,” Bench said.

    Enos then entered a not guilty plea on his own and set the trial for the Jan. 13, 2014 jury trial docket.

    Bench is accused of killing Braylee Henry at the Tee Pee Totem convenience store in Velma where he worked as a clerk. He was arrested hours after authorities found a pool of blood in a back room of the store and discovered Braylee Henry’s body in a pasture in rural Stephens County.

    Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks, who was in the courtroom during the hearing, declined to comment after the hearing.

    http://duncanbanner.com/breakingnews....PREYRLdM.dpuf
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    Trial set in Velma murder

    A 22-year-old Velma man accused of killing a teenage girl in 2012 and facing the death penalty has been bound over for trial following his formal arraignment Thursday.

    Miles Sterling Bench entered a not guilty plea to a first-degree murder charge in Stephens County District Court, according to court records. District Judge Joe Enos first entered the plea for Bench after the defendant expressed a lack of confidence in his court-appointed attorney, Gary Henry. However, Bench eventually entered his own plea of not guilty.

    District Attorney Jason Hicks said he filed paperwork Wednesday informing the court that his office will be seeking the death penalty in the case.

    Bench is accused of killing 16-year-old Braylee Rae Henry in early June 2012. The girl was found dead in a pasture in Velma near the home of Bench's grandparents, where he had been living at the time.

    It is believed Henry was attacked inside the Teepee Totem Convenience Store in Velma. Bench was the clerk on duty at the store during the time of the crime.

    http://www.swoknews.com/news-top/loc...n-velma-murder
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    Trial for Velma man moved to April docket

    The trial of a 22-year-old Velma man accused of the 2012 killing of a teenage girl has been rescheduled for the April trial docket in Stephens County.

    The murder trial of Miles Sterling Bench, originally set for January, was rescheduled Friday; his lawyer filed a motion of continuance in November, court records indicate. Bench entered a not guilty plea to a first-degree murder charge in Stephens County District Court, according to court records.

    District Attorney Jason Hicks has said he will be seeking the death penalty in the case.

    Bench is accused of killing 16-year-old Braylee Rae Henry in June 2012. She was found dead in a pasture in Velma near the home of Bench's grandparents, where he had been living at the time. It is believed Henry was attacked inside the Teepee Totem Convenience Store in Velma where Bench was the clerk on duty at the time of the crime.

    http://www.swoknews.com/news-top/are...o-april-docket
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    Henry murder case removed from April jury docket

    Miles Sterling Bench, accused of murdering 16-year-old Braylee Henry nearly two years ago, will not be on the April jury docket as initially expected, District Attorney Jason Hicks said Thursday.

    Bench, 23, of Velma, is facing a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Henry, but is awaiting a competency hearing to determine if he can stand trial.

    Bench likely will be placed on the August docket, said Hicks, but declined to comment further out of respect for Henry’s family and because the case is dealing with Bench’s mental state.

    Henry was bludgeoned to death in a Velma convenience store in June 2012. More than two years will have passed since Henry’s death by the time Bench goes to trial.

    Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

    Already set for August are separate trials for Michael Dewayne Jones, 18, and Chancey Allen Luna, 16, both of Duncan. The two teens face first-degree murder charges in the shooting death of Australian native Christopher Jones. Lane died Aug. 16, 2013, near the intersection of Country Club Road and Twilight Beach.

    Jones and Luna are set for the Aug. 18 docket. James Francis Edwards Jr., 16, also faces a charge of first-degree murder in Lane’s death. Edwards could face a reduced charge if he testifies against Jones and Luna in their trials.

    http://www.duncanbanner.com/local/x1....Fc8mMDxP.dpuf
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    Competency trial for man charged in teen's death

    A competency trial is scheduled for a Velma man charged with killing a Velma teenager in 2012.

    The Lawton Constitution reports (http://bit.ly/OYORO6) the trial is to begin Monday in Stephens County District Court for 23-year-old Miles Sterling Bench.

    Bench is charged with first-degree murder in the June 2012 death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry. Defense attorneys asked for the competency exam to determine if he is fit to stand trial.

    Prosecutors say Bench killed Henry after she stopped to buy gas at the convenience store where Bench worked. Her body was found in a pasture in Velma near the home of Bench's grandparents, where Bench was living at the time.

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/art...th-5399152.php
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    Jury To Consider Mental State Of Man Charged In Velma Teen's Death

    Closing arguments are set in a trial to determine the mental competency of a man accused of killing an Oklahoma teenager.

    The trial began this week in Stephens County for 23-year-old Miles Bench. Prosecutors want to seek the death penalty against Bench for the June 2012 death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry, but Bench's attorneys say their client is mentally incompetent to stand trial.

    During proceedings Wednesday, prosecutors showed jurors video of Bench maneuvering his way out of a restraint last September in an escape attempt from jail.

    Prosecutors argue the video proves Bench's competence. But a psychologist for the defense says the incident has no bearing on Bench's current mental state because it occurred seven months ago.

    The Duncan Banner reports closing arguments are set for Thursday.

    http://www.news9.com/story/25272768/...ma-teens-death
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    Jury Find Man Competent To Stand Trial In Velma Teen's Death

    DUNCAN, Oklahoma - A 23-year-old man is found competent to stand trial for murder.

    The jury trial began this week in Stephens County for 23-year-old Miles Bench. Prosecutors want to seek the death penalty against Bench for the June 2012 death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry, but Bench's attorneys say their client is mentally incompetent to stand trial.

    During proceedings Wednesday, prosecutors showed jurors video of Bench maneuvering his way out of a restraint last September in an escape attempt from jail.

    Prosecutors argue the video proves Bench's competence. But a psychologist for the defense says the incident has no bearing on Bench's current mental state because it occurred seven months ago.

    The jury found on Thursday, Bench is competent to stand trial.

    http://www.news9.com/story/25272768/...ma-teens-death
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
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  9. #9
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    Bench murder trial to be returned to August docket

    By Derrick Miller
    The Duncan Banner

    DUNCAN — Although the first-degree murder trial for Miles Bench has been set to begin Monday, District Attorney Jason Hicks said the trial is unlikely to begin before August.

    When Bench’s competency hearing ended Thursday, District Judge Joe Enos set the trial for 9 a.m. Monday to begin the jury selection process. Hicks said the quick turn around was a surprise to the prosecution and the defense.

    “When he said that, we were all like ‘Huh?’” Hicks said. “There’s no way we can be ready that quickly.”

    Bench, 23, of Velma, faces the first-degree murder charge for the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry. Henry was beaten to death in the Velma convenience store Teepee Totem, where Bench was working at the time.

    Her body was found with the aid of a police dog in a field owned by Bench’s grandparents. Bench was arrested in Weatherford, 140 miles away, where he had driven Henry’s car, authorities said.

    Police were able to track the teenager’s vehicle because it was equipped with an OnStar system.

    Bench had blood on his shirt, police said.

    The suspect had been declared competent to stand trial twice, but a third competency hearing began Monday afternoon and concluded Thursday.

    During the competency hearing, two psychologists talked about a two-pronged competency evaluation process. The two prongs include the defendant having an understanding of the charges against him and the punishment he faces, and whether he is able to rationally aid his attorneys to build his defense.

    It took less than an hour for the six-person jury to find Bench competent to stand trial. Bench faces the maximum punishment for first-degree murder -- death by lethal injection.

    The competency hearing pushed Bench’s trial date of August, after having originally been slated for the April docket. But Enos’ decision to place the trial back on the April docket, beginning four days after the competency hearing.

    Hicks said the prosecution and the defense talked with Enos, expressing concerns about the quick turn around to build their cases. Hicks said the trial will be moved back to the August docket as previously expected.

    http://www.duncanbanner.com/local/x3...-August-docket

  10. #10
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    Bench files for new competency hearing

    Attorneys for Miles Sterling Bench have applied for a second competency hearing even though Bench was found competent to stand trial a little more than a month earlier.

    Bench, 23, of Velma, is charged with first-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry of Velma. Henry died June 10, 2012, in the Velma convenience store Teepee Totem. Bench’s second competency hearing is set to begin at 10 a.m. June 6 in Stephens County District Court with District Judge Joe Enos presiding.

    Enos, a jury of six and two alternatives spent three days in April listening to testimony regarding Bench’s competency or lack thereof. The competency hearing began April 15 after a lengthy jury selection process the same day.

    By the end of April 17, the jury had rendered a decision, deeming Bench as competent to stand trial. At that time, Enos scheduled the first-degree murder trial to begin the following week.

    However, attorneys from the defense and the prosecution requested a continuance to begin preparing their cases. Bench’s trial was moved to the August docket, where it had been moved previously. Bench was initially slated to go to trial in April, but the competency hearing caused the trial date to move.

    During the first competency hearing, jurors listened to testimony from two psychologists with differing opinions.

    Dr. Jeanne Russell of Tulsa, testified Bench’s time at the Stephens County Jail had caused him to not be competent because he was unable to consult and rationally assist his attorneys in the preparation of his case. Dr. Peter Rausch disagreed, saying “I think he is competent.”

    Throughout the initial competency hearing, various individuals testified to Bench being placed on suicide watch for refusing to eat. Bench lost about 100 pounds during his time in prison as a result.

    Bench remains in the custody of the Stephens County Jail. At this time, he is still slated for the August trial docket.

    http://www.duncanbanner.com/local/x1...etency-hearing
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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