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Leesburg man receives life sentence for killing man outside house party

An Orange County jury found a Leesburg man guilty of first-degree murder with a firearm after he shot and killed a man in Orange County.

D'Wann Bentley
D’Wann Bentley

On April 18, 2021, 25-year-old D’Wann Bentley was at a house party on Kenlyn Court in Orange County. During the event, Bentley contacted the victim, 28-year-old Azeem Smith, over Snapchat, asking the victim to pick him up. Upon the victim’s arrival in his vehicle, Bentley fired six shots at the car, resulting in the death of Smith. 

A surveillance camera caught the incident and showed Smith’s vehicle arriving and slowing to a stop and Bentley shooting into the car. At trial, witnesses who attended the house party testified that immediately after the shooting they saw a masked man, who they recognized as Bentley, jump over a fence into the backyard and walk inside the party. 

Following Bentley’s apprehension and arrest, he failed to explain the messages recovered from his phone showing him luring the victim to the crime scene. 

After a five-day trial, a jury found Bentley guilty as charged. The judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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