A 20-year-old man accused of shooting dead two former colleagues at a North Indiana pizza shop has pleaded guilty to murder.
Jose Benitez-Tilly pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of murder before a jury trial scheduled for Aug. 1 in Elkhart County, The Elkhart Truth reported.
Benitez-Tilly admitted in a cross-examination by Circuit Court Judge Michael Christopheno on Thursday that he shot and killed Haley Smith, 22, and Dustin Carr, 37, in February while they were working in a closed shift at the Papa Johns restaurant in Elkhart.
The bodies of Smith and Carr, who were involved, were found behind the restaurant on Feb. 12 by an employee who had come to open the restaurant that morning.
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Benitez-Tilly’s petition agreement provides for a simultaneous sentence of 65 years for each count of murder. The number of corpses he encountered was dismissed under the petition agreement.
The term of imprisonment represents the maximum punishment for murder. Benitez-Tilly’s lawyer, Jeffrey Majerek, said his client could complete his sentence in less than 49 years.
Elkhart is located about 15 miles (24.1 kilometers) east of the South Bend.
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