NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A Norfolk jury couldn’t reach a verdict in the case of a deadly shooting inside a local Rite Aid.
The jury was trying to decide whether or not Bernell Benn was guilty of voluntary manslaughter for the shooting death of 42-year-old Ramon Colorado inside the drug store at Tidewater Drive and Cromwell Road in August 2012.
Benn claimed self-defense. Both men had guns.
After continuing deliberations, the jury came back and said they couldn’t come to a consensus. A new court date has not been set.
“Talk to my lawyer, everything’s good,” Benn told WAVY.com after the mistrial was declared. “Talk to my lawyer. God bless you.”
The trial began on Feb. 24, and the jury got the case Wednesday. They have viewed all of the evidence, including the store surveillance video from that day at the drugstore.
Video: Footage from store surveillance cameras **The video shows the confrontation leading up to the shooting**
During a jailhouse interview with WAVY.com after his Aug. 16 arrest, Benn said Colorado jumped ahead of him in line that afternoon.
“I said ‘Excuse me, sir. I’m in line to get my blood pressure medicine.'” said Benn, explaining what he said to Colorado. “[Colorado] said, ‘I’m in line too, bro.'”
Benn said at that point, Colorado pepper-sprayed him. Both of the men reportedly had guns on them and investigators say they shot at each other. They were both injured; Colorado died and Benn was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Colorado was well-known in the community under the online alias “Norfolk Dirt” and had worked as a deputy with the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office and an auxiliary deputy with the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office, according to a spokesperson with the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office. The spokesperson told WAVY.com Colorado was terminated from both positions.
Benn was initially charged with murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. The Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office later amended the indictments and chose to proceed with the case on one count of voluntary manslaughter. WAVY.com found Benn’s criminal record includes misdemeanor disorderly conduct and traffic violations.
Stay with WAVY for updates on this case.