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Benzo was found guilty of first-class murder

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Sandpoint — A jury found an Old Town man convicted of a single murder in Don Bush’s 2021 shooting death on Friday.

The jury deliberated for about five hours before finding Eric Loren Benzo, 46, who was found guilty of the Bush shooting on October 12, 2021. The verdict follows a five-day trial in the First District Court.

Benzo has been unsecured and detained while awaiting a ruling on August 2.

The sheriff’s agent was summoned to an Old Town residence on October 12, at 6:37 am, after at least one gunshot was reported to law enforcement agencies. Upon arrival of the agent, Donald Bush was found suffering from a gunshot wound. According to court documents, life-saving efforts were attempted, but Bush succumbed to his injury on the scene.

Witness Rebecca Allers positively identified Eric Loren Benzo, 46, as a shooter. According to a press release from the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office, Allers was romantically involved with Benzo before being involved with Bush.

The relationship between Arlers and Benzo ended years before the shooting, and her involvement with Bush was a recent development that began in 2021, officials said in court documents.

Benzo, in an evidence text message found on Allers’ phone, suggested that he was willing to harm Bush for several days before the shooting.

“If our boy gets into my face even a little, I [expletive] Shoot his face. Benzo sent a text to the Allers five days before the shooting.

Allers described her relationship with Benzo as a “best friend-worst enemy” type of situation.

According to court documents, Benzo drove to Arlers’ house in Old Town early on October 12. Both Arlers and Bush left their homes when they heard Benzo outside.

In an Aller’s interview with detective Philip Stella of the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office, Bush told Benzo something to “solve this like a man.” Stella testified that Benzo pulled a firearm at Bush, chased around the truck in front of his residence, and then shot at least twice at close range. Bush is not armed, but his agent has found a set of brass knuckles near his right hand.

Benzo left the scene shortly after shooting. According to court documents, only one used projectile was found.

Benzo was arrested by Washington authorities on October 14, and was initially held in Spokane County Jail for $ 1,000,000, but was handed over to Bonner County a few days later. He was detained in Washington State on another felony arrest warrant issued in November 2020.

The warrant comes from another Bonner County proceeding that is still pending.

On November 9, 2020, Sheriff Bonner’s agent found a blue suburb belonging to Benzo at a mobile gas station in Old Town. The vehicle warning was broadcast earlier that day, according to court documents submitted by the sheriff’s agent.

The agent identified Benzo as the driver and obtained permission to search for the vehicle. The agent discovered 51.2 grams of methamphetamine, $ 12,476 in cash, a Kimber .45 caliber pistol, pellet pistols, multiple mobile phones, two digital scales, and tools.

He was charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of firearms as a convicted Ferron, and a persistent breach in this case. The procedure was postponed awaiting the outcome of the alleged murder.

The two cases make up the whole of Benzo’s felony charges in Idaho. As of Friday, it is unclear if the two will go to sentencing together.

Benzo can be sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in a single murder, but can be sentenced to life imprisonment in addition to a $ 50,000 fine. The November 2020 proceedings could result in life imprisonment in addition to a cumulative fine of $ 30,000.