Police Identify Man Killed By Police; Christopher Benton Had A Criminal Record
The man shot and killed by Casper police on Sunday night had a criminal record, according to court documents.
Police are still investigating the shooting of Christopher Charles Benton, 27, who lived in the 1600 block of Kit Carson.
Police released Benton's name late Monday afternoon.
Police were serving a search warrant when Benton's hostile behavior forced an officer to shoot him, according to a news release from the police department.
Benton had not been a stranger to law enforcement.
In April, he was arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession at his home, pleaded guilty in May and was sentenced to one year of probation, according to Natrona County Circuit Court records.
That apparently was the only encounter with the law for a decade.
However, Benton was charged with felonies in two crimes that occurred four months apart in 2004.
In March 2004, he was charged with one count of battery, one count of aggravated assault, and one count of possession of a deadly weapon with unlawful intent. Benton, his brother, and two others drove to a location on North Washington Street where they confronted three men. Benton struck one of the men in the head with a pistol.
Although he was 17 at the time, Benton;s case was tried in Natrona County District Court. He pleaded guilty to the weapon charge in exchange for dismissing the other charges. He was placed on supervised probation.
Four months after the assault, Benton and some of the others involved in the assault broke into two sporting goods stores and stole firearms.
In January 2005, Benton pleaded guilty to two counts of being an accessory to aggravated burglary. He was originally sentenced to between five and seven years at the penitentiary, but that sentenced was reduced to a boot camp recommendation and three years of supervised probation.
However, his probation was revoked a year later after he was terminated from Community Alternatives of Casper.
During the probation revocation hearing in February 2006, the prosecutor and defense attorney complimented Benton for making progress in his life by earning his GED, and learning a trade. However, the prosecutor noted that Benton had a problem with following rules at CAC.
Natrona County District Court Judge Thomas Sullins cited his criminal record as the reason to revoke his probation and sent him to the Wyoming State Penitentiary for a term of between 30 months and 42 months, with more than a year-and-a-half of credit for time served.
Court records do not indicate any other alleged criminal activity by Benton from the time of his release from prison until the drug possession charge in April.