November trial set in case accusing man of killing Dayton teens

Victor Lechuga Santana
Victor Lechuga Santana

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

A trial for a man accused of murdering two Dayton teenagers has been scheduled for late November after being delayed because a new attorney was assigned to defend him in court.

Victor Santana, 65, is charged in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court with multiple counts of murder, felonious assault and attempt to commit murder. He has pleaded not guilty and remains in the Montgomery County Jail on $2 million bond.

He is accused of killing 17-year-olds Devin Henderson and Javier Harrison and firing at a third teenager in August 2019. The third teenager survived.

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said the teens were shot and killed while trespassing in a vehicle in a detached garage they thought was abandoned at 848 Conners St., where they went to smoke marijuana. The garage is about 42 feet from the house.

The trial had been postponed multiple times over the last year or so. Santana was originally indicted in November 2019 and was supposed to go to trial in June 2020, September 2020 and January 2021, but his then-attorney, assistant public defender Michael Pentecost, filed motions to continue, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and that Santana had health concerns.

The case was supposed to go to trial at the beginning of this month, but just days before Pentecost filed a motion to withdraw from the case citing a conflict of interest. Prosecutors said Pentecost represented a witness/victim in the case in an unrelated misdemeanor a few months ago.

Santana is now assigned a new defense lawyer, Lucas Wilder, who declined comment to the Dayton Daily News saying that he hadn’t yet received the discovery in the case.

Santana is due back in court on Nov. 15 for a final pre-trial hearing and the week of Nov. 29 for a jury trial.