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Zionsville man sentenced in 2019 Rail Trail murder

Posted at 6:03 PM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 18:03:24-04

BOONE COUNTY — A Zionsville man learned his sentence Tuesday after pleading guilty but mentally ill to what authorities say was a random act of violence.

James Hughes, 26, was sentenced to 50 years in prison with five years suspended and two years of probation in connection to the death of Samuel Bennett.

Bennett's body was found in April 2019 in a retention pond near the Big-4 Rail Trail in Zionsville, where Bennett had been on a run. An autopsy showed he had been shot twice.

Authorities say Hughes and Bennett did not know each other.

"Our hearts and prayers continue to be with the Bennett family and friends. This was a tragic, random act that shook the family and the Zionsville community," a news release from the prosecutor's office said. "We hope the guilty plea (to murder) and the sentence imposed can help bring some healing [to] all."