Prosecutor says two teens killed in garage couldn’t escape; defense says shooter was ‘afraid’

DAYTON — The trial for a man facing murder and other felony charges after he was accused of killing two teens in his detached garage began Tuesday with each side presenting their opening statements in the case.

Victor Santana, 63, of Dayton, is accused of killing 17-year-old Dayton residents Devin Henderson and Javier Harrison on his Conners Street property.

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Henderson and Harrison were “given no chance to escape, were given no chance to show they meant no harm…their only mistake was trespassing on a property they believed was abandoned and smoking weed,” said Montgomery County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Whitney Crim.

Satana’s attorney Lucas Wilder has said that the shooting was done in self-defense.

Wilder said Santana was a “loner” and had a fence around his property when he heard someone come in his fence around 11 p.m. He saw three people he thought were adults entering his yard, Wilder said.

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Santana got a gun from his bedroom and came out, but did not see the people.

“He becomes afraid, stressed, he can’t see the individuals, he doesn’t know where they’ve gone, he is afraid they’ll come to his house,” Wilder said during opening arguments.

Jury selection in the case took several hours before opening statements got underway around 3 p.m.

“The evidence in this case does not demonstrate a reasonable claim of self-defense,” Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said prior to today’s trial.

Santana was arrested following his indictment in November 2019 and has remained in jail since. His bond was set at $2 million.

“I just feel like they did a good thing,” said Jimmy Harrison, Javier’s father. “Justice is moving in the right direction.”

Henderson, 17, of Dayton, died after being shot twice in the back in a detached garage, according to crime scene and autopsy photos and Montgomery County Coroner’s Office records.

Harrison, also 17, was struck by gunfire in his back, arm and thigh in the garage, the records show.

Prosecutors had requested a high bond due to Santana also owning residences in Mexico and California.

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