- Associated Press - Friday, March 6, 2015

DUNCAN, Okla. (AP) - An Oklahoma jury has sentenced Miles Bench to death for the murder of Velma teen Braylee Henry.

According to reports, a jury of twelve came to a unanimous decision Thursday after about two hours of deliberation. Bench was convicted of first-degree murder in February for beating the 16-year-old teen to death in the backroom of the Tee Pee Totem convenience store in 2012. Prosecutors said that Bench did not know the girl, but attacked her after she entered the store alone.

The jury decided that Henry’s death was particularly “heinous, atrocious and cruel” and that Bench constituted a continuing threat to society. Both factors are necessary for death penalty consideration in Oklahoma.

“Miles Bench deserves to die for what he did to Braylee,” said District Attorney Jason Hicks.

Henry was reported missing June 6 and her body was found in a secluded area near Velma. Bench was arrested later that night when Oklahoma Highway Patrol found him in Henry’s car near Weatherford.

Bench’s attorneys argued that he was not mentally fit to be held responsible for the crime and that he suffered a psychotic break at the time of the killing. A psychologist who evaluated Bench found him to be unsound, but he was deemed competent to stand trial four different times.

His lawyers are expected to appeal the sentence.



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