Teen claims murder was self-defense - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Teen claims murder was self-defense

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Jackson teen accused in the Labor Day slaying of a convenience store worker was in court Wednesday. The victim was gunned down in an apparent argument over gas.

Bennie Beal, 16,  had his initial appearance Wednesday morning. He is charged with murder in the shooting death of store clerk Dilip Patel, 49. Beal was denied bond by the judge.

As he left court, the teen said he fired his gun in self-defense. Patel died after being shot in the parking lot of the Shell station at 1141 University Boulevard, formerly Terry Road, Monday afternoon.

I talked to LaToya Travis who was driving the car Beal fired the shots from. Others who were in the car with Beal say that Patel had opened their car door and was attacking a passenger in an argument over a gas bill. They say another store employee came towards the car armed with a gun, that's when Beal fired his shot.

Travis says, "The man came to our car telling we owe him $9.74, my sister was willing to pay him the money, he jumped in the car, my cousin, started hitting my cousin in the face three times, that's when the other Iranian man dude came out there with a gun. I heard some shots and I drove off. "

Members of the Patel family were at police headquarters talking to detectives working this case. They did not attend Beal's initial appearance.

At this time, Bennie Beal is the only one charged in the murder.

Copyright, WLBT News, 2011.  All Rights Reserved.

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