Benito Pedraza sentenced for murders of Damon Bethel and Anton James

Benito Pedraza was found guilty of two counts of murder and one count of attempted robbery.

Jesus Pedraza Jr was found guilty of two counts of murder

Joshua Sage was found guilty of two counts of murder and one count of dealing methamphetamine

Jermon Gavin is awaiting a final disposition on his plea agreement on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and attempted dealing in methamphetamine

Robert Brady was convicted of two counts of dealing meth and one count of carrying a handgun without a license

Ronald Snyder Jr pleaded guilty to dealing in methamphetamine.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A judge sentenced Benito Pedraza to 60 years in prison for the murders of Damon Bethel and Anton James in August 2017 during a hearing Tuesday.

Pedraza was one of six people charged in the drug related shooting on Frederickson Street.

The judge sentenced Pedraza to 60 years in prison on each count of murder. The robbery charge was dismissed. Pedraza's sentences will be served concurrently.

The third count of murder was merged.


On August 2, 2017 South Bend Police were in the area of Lincolnway and Frederickson when they heard gunshots. The officers then headed towards the gunshots and several people directed them to a home on Frederickson.

Inside the garage of the home, they found two people lying on the ground with gunshot wounds.

Joshua Sage was transported to the hospital for treatment of his gunshot wounds.

The other man, Damon Bethel, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police learned two others had been shot, but fled the scene in an SUV.

The SUV crashed into a home several blocks from the scene of the shooting.

The driver, Anton James, was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger, Alyssa Sanchez, was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the head.

During the investigation, police found several guns and two pounds of meth.

Police also located video cameras which captured the entire incident.

During the investigation, police spoke with several people who were at the home at the time of the shooting.

Robert Brady told police he and Sage were hired by Ron Snyder to act as 'muscle.' He said Snyder deals meth out of his home and he and Sage were hired to protect Snyder and the drugs.

On the night of the shooting, Snyder was inside the home and Sage and Brady were outside in the garage.

Bethel allegedly ran into the garage with a gun and demanded the drugs, but began shooting before any could be handed over.

Sage shot Bethel and Bethel shot Sage, Brady told police. He added shots also came from the direction of an SUV.

When police spoke with Snyder, he denied being a drug dealer. He told police he allowed Sage and Brady deal out of his home.

Snyder also allegedly admitted to telling one of the witnesses there was over $14,000 worth of drugs in the garage that night, asked the witness to keep an eye out for anything suspicious, moving a handgun from a safe to outside the house after the shooting, but denied firing a gun during the incident, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Snyder also allegedly admitted Bethel and James died during attempted drug deal.

Police reviewed the video from the home.

The video showed a Chevy Impala pull up across the street from the garage. Reports say Jermon Gavin and Jesus Pedraza got out and approached the garage.

Jesus had allegedly set up a deal to purchase a large amount of meth for $10,000, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Gavin told police he knew Jesus didn't have the money.

A short time later, a white SUV pulled up and parked between the Impala and the garage. A woman got out of the SUV and went into the garage, then returned to the vehicle.

Then, Jesus walked from the garage to the Impala, according to police.

Jesus allegedly called Gavin and said he needed the drugs and was going to send in Bethel.

Soon after, Bethel ran from across the street into the garage with a handgun. Gavin, who was in the garage, ran to the Impala while shooting towards the garage, according to police.

Benito Pedraza got out of the Impala and started firing at Anton James, the driver of the white SUV, and at the people in the garage, reports said.

The video then showed Brady come out of the garage and fire at the dark colored vehicle. The white SUV then drove away, according to police.

The SUV crashed into a home near Johnson and Frederickson streets. James was found dead in the vehicle. His passenger had been shot in the head.

Share this article: