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Charges dropped against man accused in fatal Norfolk Rite-Aid shooting

Posted at 4:35 PM, Apr 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-15 17:22:13-04

Norfolk, Va. - Charges against Bernell Benn, the man accused of killing another man inside a Norfolk Rite-Aid in 2012, were dropped in court on Wednesday.

Benn was originally charged with second-degree murder, but that charge was reduced to voluntary manslaughter in 2013. He was also charged with discharging a firearm in a public building.

The Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney's statement said they decided to drop the charges after two jury trials held in the case ended in mistrials.

In each trial, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. Both juries indicated that the majority of jurors wanted to convict, but a unanimous decision is required.

The Commonwealth's Attorney's office decided that a third trial would likely not produce a different outcome.

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