Trial delayed again for Dayton man accused in deaths of 2 teens in his garage

Victor Lechuga Santana
Victor Lechuga Santana

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

A trial scheduled to start in two weeks has again been postponed after a defense attorney requested another delay because of coronavirus concerns.

Victor Santana, 65, is now due back in court in May for a final pre-trial hearing and in June for a jury trial. Santana is accused of killing 17-year-old Dayton residents Devin Henderson and Javier Harrison and firing at a third teenager who survived in August 2019.

He is charged with four counts of murder, five counts of felonious assault and one count of attempt to commit murder.

ExploreLearn more about the case against Victor Santana

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 case has been making its way through the legal system since Santana was indicted in November 2019. According to the motion filed by the defense, the case was originally set for a trial in June 2020 and then again in September 2020, but filings and motions required those dates to be continued. The motion filed this week in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court is the second time the defense has cited COVID-19 as the reason why the trial should not take place until later.

Just like in the first motion, the motion points out that Santana is 65 years old and is being housed in a medical unit at the Montgomery County Jail. The motion says that Santana has expressed his concerns about coronavirus to counsel and that he should not be forced into risking his health during a pandemic when he is requesting a postponement and in jail.

ExploreCoronavirus postpones trial in double-fatal Dayton garage shooting case

During a pre-trial hearing Monday evening, prosecutors in the case told Judge Timothy O’Connell that they were prepared to proceed with the case. O’Connell ruled that because of the pandemic, the defendant’s motion should be granted.

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