Jury finds Victor Santana guilty of murder in deaths of 17-year-olds

The trial for Victor Santana, accused of shooting and killing two teenagers in August 2019 who were sitting in a car smoking marijuana in his detached garage behind his home in Dayton. PARKER PERRY/STAFF

caption arrowCaption
The trial for Victor Santana, accused of shooting and killing two teenagers in August 2019 who were sitting in a car smoking marijuana in his detached garage behind his home in Dayton. PARKER PERRY/STAFF

A Dayton man was found guilty of murder in the August 2019 shooting deaths of two teenagers trespassing in a car in his garage.

A Montgomery County Common Pleas Court jury convicted Victor Santana of four counts of murder, four counts of felonious assault and one count of attempt to commit murder, each with a three-year firearm specification. He was acquitted of one felonious assault charge.

ExploreRELATED: Murder trial begins for Dayton man who shot teens in his garage

Prosecutors said Santana, 65, snuck up on and shot 17-year-olds Javier Harrison and Devin Henderson, both of Dayton, on the night of Aug. 28, 2019, while they were trespassing in a car and smoking marijuana inside the detached garage behind his home at 848 Conners St.

caption arrowCaption
Javier Harrison, left, and Devin Henderson, both 17, were fatally shot Aug. 28, 2019, in a double shooting in the 800 block of Conners Street in Dayton.

Javier Harrison, left, and Devin Henderson, both 17, were fatally shot Aug. 28, 2019, in a double shooting in the 800 block of Conners Street in Dayton.

caption arrowCaption
Javier Harrison, left, and Devin Henderson, both 17, were fatally shot Aug. 28, 2019, in a double shooting in the 800 block of Conners Street in Dayton.

Ja’shin Gibson, who was with Harrison and Henderson, testified Wednesday against Santana.

Gibson, 19 at the time of the shooting, said he thought the vehicle was abandoned in the garage, which was pitch-black, and that the trio just wanted a place to smoke pot.

“We just wanted to get high, go home,” he said.

Gibson said Santana opened the door and fired shots into the vehicle without warning.

“He didn’t say nothing at all,” he testified.

Gibson, who was not shot, said he hid underneath the car and was able to escape once Santana left.

ExploreRELATED: Survivor in garage shooting case says man fired quickly

Defense attorney Lucas Wilder said Santana was watching TV when he heard and saw people he thought were adults going through his front gate around 11 p.m. and that Santana was afraid they were going to come into his house. Santana retrieved his gun, lost sight of the people and went outside to find them.

Wilder said after Santana got to the garage, he opened a car door and found the teens inside. He said Santana didn’t know whether the individuals inside had weapons or were going to attack him.

“In that moment, fear hits him and he decides to shoot,” Wilder said.

ExploreRELATED: Judge won’t allow man accused of killing Dayton teens to use Ohio’s new stand your ground law as defense

Following Thursday night’s verdict, Wilder declined to comment.

Santana remains held in the Montgomery County Jail.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 20.

caption arrowCaption
Victor Santana

Credit: MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL

Victor Santana

Credit: MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL

caption arrowCaption
Victor Santana

Credit: MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL

Credit: MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL

About the Authors