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A central Florida man murdered another man outside a house party

A 25-year-old Central Florida man murdered a 28-year-old man, shooting the victim after luring him to the crime scene outside a house party.

An Orange County jury found a 25-year-old Leesburg man, D’Wann Bentley, guilty of first-degree murder with a firearm after shooting and killing a man in Orange County in 2021.

On April 18, 2021, Bentley was at a house party on Kenlyn Court in Orange County. During the event, Bentley contacted the victim, 28-year-old Azeem Smith, via Snapchat, asking him to pick him up.

When the victim reached his vehicle, Bentley fired six shots into the car, resulting in Smith’s death.

A surveillance camera captured the incident and showed Smith’s vehicle arriving and slowing to a stop and the defendant shooting at the car. At trial, witnesses who attended the house party testified that immediately after the shooting they saw a masked man, whom they recognized as Bentley, jump over a fence into the backyard and enter the party.

Following Bentley’s detention and subsequent arrest, he did not provide an explanation for messages recovered from his phone that showed him luring the victim to the crime scene.

After a five-day trial, a jury found Bentley guilty of the charges. The judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.