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Warren Genell Bennett II

Warren Genell Bennett II

CARLISLE — The case against a Carlisle man charged in a May shooting was put on hold Wednesday by Magisterial District Judge Jessica Brewbaker until forensic and DNA analysis is completed.

Warren Genell Bennett II, 27, was charged July 5 with criminal attempt of murder in the first degree, felony aggravated assault, prohibited possession of a firearm, firearm not to be carried without a license and misdemeanor simple assault in connection with a May 31 shooting that injured a man near North Pitt and A streets in Carlisle.

A misdemeanor recklessly endangering the another person charge was added during a hearing Wednesday.

Bennett was arrested July 4 after police said he was identified as the suspect. He is held on $5 million cash bail, but he also was sentenced to three years in state prison on Tuesday for an unrelated felony gun charge.

Testimony on Wednesday included the fact that the weapon authorities say was used in the shooting was not recovered when Bennett was arrested but four days later, when residents found it in their backyard.

Detective Sgt. Daniel Freedman of the Carlisle Police Department testified that he investigated the shooting in which James Felix Walker, 44, of Carlisle, was injured.

Walker was shot four times in the torso and flank area, including arm wounds, Freedman said. He was flown by Life Lion to Penn State Hershey Medical Center where he was treated and survived the wounds, he said.

Walker was unable to testify in Wednesday’s hearing because he was bedridden because of the injuries, Freedman said.

Allan Yohe, who lives in the area, testified to hearing the gunshots and then seeing someone run through his backyard and jump a fence.

“It sounded like fireworks at first and then it got closer and closer,” he said.

Then he said he saw a black man dressed all in black run through his yard and jump the fence. Outside, he found a hat, cellphone and other items, which he reported to police.

He said he saw what appeared to be a gun in the man’s hand, but did not witness the shooting.

Freedman said a search warrant was issued for the phone, which contained Bennett’s mother’s number under the listing “Mama.” He said the other items found in the yard included a cigarette lighter, set of keys and Pittsburgh Pirates baseball hat.

Sgt. Adolfo Heredia testified that Bennett was seen in the 100 block of West Penn Street and police coordinated an effort to take him into custody July 4. Bennett got into a vehicle leaving the area, and when the vehicle was pulled over at East Penn and North Bedford streets, Bennett fled out the passenger’s side.

Heredia testified that he chased Bennett, jumping several fences, before he was found hiding behind a bush in the backyard of a residence and taken into custody.

“I was concerned that he had a gun because when he ran from vehicle he was holding something heavy at his waist,” he said.

When residents found the gun four days later, they turned it over to police.

Freedman testified that the gun was a 9 mm handgun, the same caliber as the bullets that injured Walker. He also said errant bullets had flown over both sides of the street, through windows and into door frames, as well as that there were many people outside on the street, which led to the recklessly endangering charge.

He said nine shell casings were found, all 9 mm, which appear to be from the same weapon. He said there was a possibility of two shooters, but all the casings were from the same manufacture and were spread out among the scene, indicating that there was movement involved.

He said a search of the vehicle was conducted and found two duffle bags with Bennett’s identification and wallet, as well as a Wal-Mart bag with packaging for a disposable cellphone, which matched the serial numbers of the phone found at the scene.

Meredith White, a friend of Bennett’s, testified that he saw Bennett run through his alley about three blocks from the scene, saying that there was shooting down the block. He then took Bennett home and dropped him off at his parents home.

At the time, Bennett was not wearing a shirt, but put the shirt on when he got out of the vehicle, he said.

Brewbaker delayed a decision on the preliminary hearing until DNA and forensic testing could be done on the evidence collected. The case has been continued indefinitely until those tests are conducted.

Police said they believe a second shooter was involved in the May incident. That suspect was described as a tall, black male with “dreadlock-style hair,” and anyone with information about the identity of that person is asked to contact them at 243-5252.

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