Aunt Wants Answers As To Why Her Nephew Was Killed By Deputy - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/5/07-Longview

Aunt Wants Answers As To Why Her Nephew Was Killed By Deputy

An aunt wants answers as to why her nephew was shot and killed by a Gregg County Sheriff's Deputy New Year's Eve. There's been little information so far about the traffic stop that night-- just that Benitez was pulled over, suspected of driving while intoxicated. The deputy involved has been suspended since then while it's being investigated. Now the suspect's aunt says, so far, the family has been told nothing about why their loved one was killed that night.

"He's a good boy, sweet boy." Brenda Benitez says her nephew, Abel Jaimes Benitez, 21, loved to make people laugh, including her three young boys.   

"Abel, he told me oh, yes, I enjoy playing with the children, soccer outside, so he told me when you don't have a babysitter, bring Anthony over here because we play soccer," she says.

But Brenda believes Benitez did have a drinking problem.   

"The only problem he has is because he likes to drink, you know, so everybody tells him don't drink too much."

Records show Benetiz does have a previous DWI charge from August. Brenda actually picked him up from jail and said he was crying, that he was scared of police officers. That's why she can't imagine him actually trying to hurt one.

 "He don't have anything, no guns, no knife, no anything," Brenda says.

She believes Benitez was scared that night and didn't understand what the deputy wanted. But that's just a theory because, she says, the Sheriff's Department has not explained to his family what happened that New Year's Eve night.

"If he's drinking and driving, it's alright they can arrest him, because it's the law, you know, we understand because it's dangerous when somebody's drinking and driving, it's alright, I understand everything you know...I say why they kill him is my question and everybody have the same question, why kill him?"

For now, Brenda says she's told her boys it was all an accident. She says she doesn't want her children to be scared of authorities like her nephew and have something like this happen to them.  

We spoke with Gregg County Sheriff Maxey Cerliano Friday, who says no new information is being released at this time, including the dashcam video. We've been told information from the investigation has been turned over to the District's Attorney's office. As for the deputy involved, "Roy Nixon," he's still on administrative leave until further notice.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com.

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