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Friday, October 12, 2018 1:00 am

Probation at risk for alleged attack

Convict accused of June shooting

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

A Garrett man sentenced in 2014 to two years in prison for a brutal beating 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, 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 today.

Bennett was 21 and living in Fort Wayne when he beat Colton Schroeder, 21, in the parking lot of St. Joe Place Apartments on Jan. 27, 2013. Prosecutors said at the time that Schroeder likely suffered permanent impairment.

He was punched in the face and didn't move after falling to the ground, a probable cause affidavit states. Police said Bennett continued the attack, leaving Schroeder with injuries that put him in a hospital intensive care unit.

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 sentencing hearing 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 is convicted on each charge.

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, according to court documents. Bennett left the home, but Davis noticed the screen door open 30 to 45 minutes later and saw Bennett with a gun, police said.

Bennett threatened to shoot Davis and others in the home, fought with Davis and fired a shot from the handgun, an affidavit states.

Davis found blood coming from his head, according to the affidavit, and doctors said 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,” Fort Wayne Police Detective Liza Anglin wrote in the affidavit.

A petition to revoke probation was filed July 12.

mleblanc@jg.net