Crime or Accident? Jury to Decide in Lanier Boating Deaths Trial

Paul Bennett of Cumming faces several charges in connection with the 2012 deaths of two Gwinnett boys.

Paul Bennett, left. (Credit: wsbtv.com)
Paul Bennett, left. (Credit: wsbtv.com)
A Hall County jury will continue deliberating Thursday (Nov. 14) in the trial of Paul Bennett of Cumming. He faces several charges in connection with a 2012 Lake Lanier boating incident that killed two Gwinnett boys.

According to the Gainesville Times, jurors received the case Wednesday after attorneys for Bennett and prosecutors for the state completed closing arguments. Testimony began last week.

Bennett faces several charges in the case, including homicide by vessel, boating under the influence and failure to render aid. The charges stem from a June 2012 boating collision that killed Griffin Prince, 13, and Jake Prince, 9.

Bennett's attorneys have contended that his arrest and BUI testing were not handled properly, and that he left the collision scene because his boating companion had a diabetic emergency.

“There’s no way that anyone can look at this as anything other than a tragedy, and there’s no way that anyone can look at this as anything other than an accident,” Bennett attorney Barry Zimmerman said in his closing arguments.

“This is no legal accident. This is a drunken boating collision caused by Paul Bennett," lead prosecutor Lee Darragh said.

-- What do you think the jury's verdict will be? Tell us in the comments below.


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