published Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Erlanger at Hutcheson shooter’s case could be headed to trial in May

James Benson
James Benson
Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The Chattanooga man charged with killing his estranged wife and mother-in-law in an Erlanger at Hutcheson waiting room pleaded not guilty today during his arraignment.

James Benson, 59, is charged with two counts of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault and four counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

He was arrested on Jan. 6 after police said he shot and killed his wife, Mary Sue Benson, 56, and her mother, Charlotte Johnson, 77, in an intensive care unit waiting room.

His case could be going to trial this May in Walker County Superior Court, court officials said.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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