Benfield found guilty of lesser charges

Published 6:40 pm Saturday, December 11, 2021


After deliberating both Friday night and well into Saturday afternoon, a jury found Chad Benfield not guilty of first degree murder in the 2017 death of an elderly woman, and instead found him guilty of a lesser charge.

The verdict was returned about 3 p.m.

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In it, the jury found Benfield not guilty of two counts of first degree murder and instead found him guilty of two counts of criminally negligent homicide.

Judge Lisa Rice set a sentencing hearing for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 14. However, she said Benfield may have served much of his sentence – which could range from one to six years.

Benfield was charged in a July 2017 home break-in and assault of 87-year-old Mary Nolen, who died as a result of her injuries.

For complete trial coverage, go to

Benfield Murder Trial concludes after long Friday deliberation