Bennett arrested on adult charge

OKEECHOBEE — Prosecutors have filed adult charges against a local teen allegedly involved in the shooting of an Okeechobee man in what police describe as a “dope deal gone bad.”

Roman Chase Bennett, 17, S.W. Eighth St., was arrested Wednesday, Nov. 23, on a warrant charging him with one felony count of robbery with a deadly weapon.

Roman Chase Bennett, 17

Roman Chase Bennett, 17

That charge stems from the Nov. 4 shooting of Brian Gorby, 19, in which he apparently agreed to sell marijuana to Bennett; Daivondre Allen Queener, 18, of Conyers, Ga.; and Noah Wayne Collins, 19, S.R. 78 W. However, when it came to pay for the pot, Gorby was shot multiple times with a 9mm handgun.

“It was a dope deal gone bad,” said Detective James Pickering, of the Okeechobee City Police Department (OCPD). “They didn’t want to pay (Gorby) for it. Basically, they robbed him. We just don’t know how much they took.”

He went on to say it was Queener who actually pulled the trigger and shot Gorby.

The detective went on to say Gorby “… had four wounds, but one was a through-and-through that re-entered his body. A bullet was recovered from his body.”

A small amount of suspected pot was found at the shooting scene on N.E. Fifth Street. More suspected pot was found in the car driven by Collins when OCPD detectives served a search warrant on the black two-door automobile.

Detective Pickering said he has not been able to speak with Gorby because the man is being kept in a medically-induced coma at a coastal hospital and is on a tracheal tube.

Records at the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) show Bennett was initially taken to the St. Lucie Regional Detention Center in Fort Pierce because he is a juvenile. However, when assistant state attorney Terry Tribble issued the adult arrest warrant Monday, Nov. 21, Bennett was returned to the Okeechobee County Jail at 9:56 a.m. Wednesday. He is now being held on $75,000 bond.

Queener and Collins are also being held on bond in the county jail. Queener’s bond has been set at $100,000, while Collins is being held on $70,000 bond.

Queener is charged with one count of armed robbery with a firearm with serious bodily injury, and Collins is charged with one felony count of accessory after the fact – armed robbery.

According to the OCPD investigator the shooting took place around 3:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, in the 1000 block of N.E. Fifth Street. When OCPD officers arrived at the scene they reportedly found Gorby sitting outside his home on the cul-de-sac as he waited for them.

“They shot him in the cul-de-sac and went off and left him in the street. He walked to his house, went inside and a family member called the police,” explained Detective Pickering.

The black 2006 two-door Mitsubishi occupied by the three teens and owned by Collins was stopped shortly after the shooting at the intersection of N.W. 10th Street and N.W. Fifth Avenue by OCSO Deputy Max Waldron.

A cell phone supposedly taken from Gorby was found in some shrubbery in front of the Walgreen Pharmacy, 100 N.W. Park St. Like the gun, Queener had apparently tossed it from the car, pointed out Detective Pickering.

When OCPD detectives later executed a search warrant on that car they reportedly found: four spent shell casings; a digital scale; one unspent round; and, an unspecified amount of marijuana.

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