State and defense rest in Dennis Bendy murder trial - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

State and defense rest in Dennis Bendy murder trial

The state recalled DNA expert Kimberly Mack who testified Friday to explain how DNA is collected and tested. (Source: KLTV Staff) The state recalled DNA expert Kimberly Mack who testified Friday to explain how DNA is collected and tested. (Source: KLTV Staff)
Firearms and tool mark expert Nathan Tunnell told jurors he matched cartridge casings found at the crime scene to two guns allegedly used in the shooting. (Source: KLTV Staff) Firearms and tool mark expert Nathan Tunnell told jurors he matched cartridge casings found at the crime scene to two guns allegedly used in the shooting. (Source: KLTV Staff)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Both the state and defense have rested in the trial of Dennis Montrell Bendy, who is charged with murder after the 2013 death of a young Tyler mother. 
Bendy is the first of three co-defendants to go to trial for allegedly shooting and killing 20-year-old Briana Young last summer. Young and her toddler were at Tyler's P.T. Cole Park in the summer of 2013 when investigators say Young was caught in a rival gang crossfire and killed. Police believe that Bendy accompanied a friend to the park looking for a rival gang member.

Monday, prosecutors recalled DNA expert Kimberly Mack. She explained to jurors how DNA is collected and tested. Mack testified the DNA found on one of the firearms used in the P.T. Cole Park shooting did not have any of Dennis Bendy's DNA. In fact, it had DNA from three other undisclosed people. However, Mack also told jurors there's a possibility that Bendy could have handled the gun without leaving any DNA. On cross examination, Mack agreed there is a 50-50 percent chance Bendy held that gun.

The state also called Nathan Tunnell, a ballistics expert, to testify which firearms the casings found at the crime scene were fired from. He told the jury 8 cartridge casings were shot from a Glock pistol and 11 other casings were shot from the Ruger SR9 used in the shooting. Tunnell testified he could not say with certainty that the 8 casings came from the exact Glock in evidence, but that they are consistent with that type of gun. 

After the state rested, Bendy's defense attorney rested without calling any defense witnesses. He made a motion to the court for a directed verdict of not guilty.

“The state's evidence in this case has failed to prove by legally sufficient evidence that the defendant did one or more elements of the indictment as returned by the grand jury,” said defense attorney Rex Thompson.

That motion, however, was denied by the judge. Final arguments for Dennis Bendy's trial are set for Tuesday morning. If found guilty, he faces five to 99 years or life in prison.

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