Jury finds Dennis Bendy guilty in P.T. Cole Park murder - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Jury finds Dennis Bendy guilty in P.T. Cole Park murder

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The state and defense were each given an hour and a half to present their final arguments. (Source: KLTV Staff) The state and defense were each given an hour and a half to present their final arguments. (Source: KLTV Staff)
The jury in the Dennis Bendy murder trial deliberated for less than two hours Tuesday, finding him guilty in the P.T. Cole Park murder. (Source: KLTV Staff) The jury in the Dennis Bendy murder trial deliberated for less than two hours Tuesday, finding him guilty in the P.T. Cole Park murder. (Source: KLTV Staff)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

A Smith County jury found Dennis Bendy guilty of murder. Jurors deliberated for less than two hours before deciding that Bendy caused the death of 20-year old Briana Young during a gang shootout at P.T. Cole Park in Tyler. The prosecution and defense made their final arguments early Tuesday morning before giving the case to the jury.

“[The gangs] are paying attention. They do wait and see… What is the Tyler Police Department going to do? What’s the D.A.’s office going to do? What's the community going to do? They know already about this verdict,” said Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham after the verdict.

During closing arguments, Bingham told jurors they had a responsibility to help end gang violence in Smith County.

“You've been given a glimpse into a world that probably most of you all have heard about, but did not know happened here in Tyler where gangs bring their fights to the streets and make our public parks a battle ground,” Bingham told the jury.

One year ago, hundreds of candles were lit at a vigil for Briana Young at the same park where she lost her life. Back then, her uncle said he hoped that vigil would help bring justice for Briana. Bingham says that justice has finally been served.

“I said that one year ago when this happened that we were going to aggressively prosecute the individuals that did this because they do turn our public parks [and] our streets into a shooting gallery,” he said.

He says Tuesday’s verdict will send a strong message.

“We're going to keep coming after them and keep convicting them and they're going to get large sentences and finally that message is going to be received,” said Bingham.

Bendy's sentencing hearing will be held on August 28. His bond until then has been increased to $2 million.

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