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Thursday, October 11, 2018 2:26 pm

Man sentenced in brutal beating accused of violating probation

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

A Garrett man sentenced in 2014 to two years in prison for a brutal beating in Fort Wayne that left the victim with a broken nose, fractured sinuses and a brain bleed is facing more time behind bars.
 
Eric M. Bennett, 26, violated the terms of his probation in that case when he allegedly got into a fight June 9 and shot Edward Davis at his mother's house, according to court documents. Paperwork filed by his probation officer in Allen Superior Court says Bennett also didn't show up for three required appointments in June and July.
 
A hearing on the probation violation is scheduled Friday.
 
Bennett was 21 and living in Fort Wayne when he beat Colton Schroeder, 21, in the parking lot of St. Joe Place Apartments in 2013. Prosecutors at the time said Schroeder likely suffered permanent impairment.
 
He was punched in the face Jan. 27, 2013, and knocked down and, after he hit the ground, Schroeder didn't move, a probable cause affidavit states. Police said Bennett continued the attack, leaving him with injuries that put him in the intensive care unit at the hospital.
 
Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck sentenced Bennett in September 2014 to two years in prison, with four years to be served on probation after he pleaded guilty to battery causing serious bodily injury. 
 
Witnesses at the time said Schroeder struggled with cognitive difficulties and lost his sense of smell.
 
Bennett was charged July 5 in the recent case with felony counts of burglary with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon, battery with a deadly weapon, criminal recklessness and pointing a firearm at another person. He faces up to 53 years in prison if he's convicted on each count.
 
A two-day trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 2.
 
Davis was at his mother's house June 9 when he and Bennett argued about someone named Devin, police said. Bennett left the home and came back with a handgun, threatening to shoot Davis and others there, according to investigators.
 
Bennett fired a gun, and Davis noticed blood coming from his head, a probable cause affidavit states. Doctors told police the wound was consistent with a bullet grazing his head.
 
"Davis believes he was hit with a projectile and not hit by (Bennett's) fist," the affidavit states.
 
A petition to revoke probation was filed July 12.