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The original item was published from 12/8/2017 2:19:21 PM to 2/10/2018 5:10:01 PM.

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District Attorney

Posted on: December 8, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Verdict: Jury Convicts Ephrata Man of Aggravated Assault for Stabbing Man 7 Times


An Ephrata man was convicted Thursday afternoon of repeatedly stabbing a 21-year-old man in May.

A Lancaster County jury convicted 36-year-old Joel R. Benjamin of felony aggravated assault, after a four-day trial before County Judge Donald Totaro.

Judge Totaro will order sentence on Feb. 21. Benjamin is at Lancaster County Prison on $1 million bail.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Fetterman argued to the jury that Benjamin on May 28 turned a verbal argument between Benjamin and the victim into a deadly confrontation, with Benjamin using an 8-inch military-style knife.

Fetterman presented evidence that Benjamin and the victim had a verbal dispute, over a television, while in Benjamin’s bedroom in the 900 block of Opal Street. The victim, unarmed, threatened Benjamin. Benjamin then armed himself with the knife and stabbed the victim seven times in the face, torso and back.

The victim underwent life-saving surgery at a local hospital. He will never regain full sight in his right eye, according to Fetterman.

The jury, after about 2½ hours of deliberation, returned a not-guilty verdict to a count of attempted homicide. With the guilty verdict, they convicted Benjamin of causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon.

Ephrata police Detective Kenneth Lockhart filed charges.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041;; Twitter: @BrettHambright

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