Trial for Bentley homicide suspect postponed

Monday, February 23, 2009 | 6:05 p.m. CST; updated 11:52 a.m. CST, Tuesday, November 3, 2009

COLUMBIA — The trial of one of the five men charged in connection with the 2007 shooting death of a Columbia man was continued on Monday in Boone County Circuit Court for the second time.

Malcolm Washington, 26, is charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and armed criminal action in the death of 22-year-old Nathaniel Bentley.

Washington was scheduled to go on trial March 3. The date was reset to allow the defense additional time for “further investigation and deposition,” said Boone County Circuit Court Judge Kevin Crane.

During the hearing, Public Defender Kevin O’Brien also made a motion to suppress witnesses.

Crane said he will review a 45-minute videotape and several hours of live testimony at an in-chambers hearing in late March before ruling on the motion.

Four other men are charged in connection with the shooting. Damon Williams, 24, is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and armed criminal action. Quillan Jacobs, 17; Michael Jaco, 18; and Denzel Smith, 18, are all charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and armed criminal action.

According to a probable cause statement filed with the court, the five men broke into Bentley’s Pimlico Drive duplex on June 10, 2007, searching for drugs and cash.

Bentley was in his upstairs bedroom when at least one of the suspects entered the bedroom, according to the statement. Witnesses told police they heard a gunshot before the suspects left with an Xbox game system, two purses and at least one cell phone, the statement said.

Bentley was transported to a hospital with a gunshot wound to the head. He was later pronounced dead.

Washington’s new trial date is pending.

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