Lubbock man gets 25-year sentenced for shooting, injuring man during 2019 robbery




  • In US
  • 2022-09-27 20:38:56Z
  • By Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
The Lubbock County Courthouse.
The Lubbock County Courthouse.  

A 29-year-old man was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison for shooting and injuring a man as he was running away from him.

Matthew Benites, who has been held at the Lubbock County Detention Center since Dec. 17, 2019, pleaded guilty in the 364th District Court to a count of aggravated robbery, a first degree felony that carries a punishment of five years to life in prison. However, the court used Benites' prior conviction in 2011 for aggravated assault to enhance his punishment to 15 years to life in prison.

As part of his plea deal with the Lubbock County District Attorney's Office, a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by threat was dismissed.

Benites admitted to shooting Timothy Lee on Dec. 14, 2019 after investigators believe he threatened and assaulted a Walmart employee minutes before.

Court documents laid out a Lubbock police investigation that began with a civil disturbance call at the Walmart in the 1900 block of Marsha Sharp Freeway.

A Walmart employee told responding officers he reportedly saw a man and a woman leave the store and heard the man, later identified as Benites, threaten to beat up the woman.

He said Benites noticed him looking in his direction, threatened him and showed a gun tucked in the front of his pants. The employee said he told Benites he wasn't afraid of the gun and Benites approached him, punched him in the mouth and ran away with the woman northbound across Marsha Sharp Freeway, the report states.

Investigators believe Benites and the woman ended up in the east alley of the 300 block of Sherman Avenue, where Benites approached Lee, who was taking out his trash to a dumpster. Benites pulled out his gun and demanded the Lee's property, according to a second police report.

Lee told police he ran away and Benites reportedly fired at him three times, hitting him once in the torso. The bullet entered the left side of his torso and exited out of his right side. He was taken by ambulance to University Medical Center for serious injuries, the report states.

A witness told police at the scene that the shooter was the same person who punched the Walmart employee about 20 minutes before, the report states.

According to an arrest warrant, a police officer showed the injured man a photo lineup that included Benites' picture.

Lee told the officer Benites' resembled his shooter but said he couldn't fully identify him and signed a statement saying he could not identify a subject, the warrant states.

Investigators spoke to the woman who told police she saw Benites shoot the man, the warrant states.

A witness told police at the scene that the shooter was the same person who punched the Walmart employee about 20 minutes before, the report states.

LPD person crimes detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Benites on Dec. 16, 2019. He was found the next day by police officers and U.S. Marshals near Clapp Park.

Benites denied shooting Lee, saying he carried a BB gun at Walmart, the warrant states.

Benites, a member of the West Texas Tango Blast gang, was later served an additional warrant for aggravated robbery and aggravated assault in connection with the shooting.

This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Man gets 25 years for shooting in North Lubbock

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