Victor Santana, 65, of Dayton, Ohio, has been charged with the killing of two black teenagers smoking marijuana inside a vehicle in his garage.
Santana was found guilty of four counts of murder, four counts of felonious assault, and one count of attempt to commit murder, WHIO reports. He was acquitted of one felonious assault charge. Santana shot the two 17-year-olds when he found them inside his detached garage late at night in August 2019, authorities said.
He is being held in the Montgomery County jail and is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 20.
Victor Santana wanted to use the state’s new “stand your ground” defense, but a judge ruled earlier this year that it couldn’t be applied retroactively to the killings of Devin Henderson and Javier Harrison.
On Thursday, Santana was convicted of murder and felonious assault after fatally shooting two 17-year-olds he found inside his detached garage during the night of Aug. 28, 2019, 10TV reports.
Santana’s attorney, Lucas Wilder, claims the man saw the teens enter his front gate and was afraid of a home invasion so he retrieved his gun and went after them. Dayton Daily News reports that Wilder claims Santana responded aggressively because he didn’t know if the teens were armed.
“He didn’t hunt these young men, he didn’t sneak attack them,” Wilder added. “The deciding factor is that you have to put yourself in this mans shoes at the time.”
“In that moment, fear hits him and he decides to shoot,” he said, according to the Dayton Daily News.
However, eyewitness Ja’shin Gibson who was with the teens but was not injured after hiding under the car, testified that Santana opened the car door and fired shots without warning.