Dallas man sentenced to 75 years for murder

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Benjamin Newman, 24, of Dallas, was sentenced to 75 years in prison for Murder announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

On April 17, 2014, after already consuming at least three alcoholic beverages, Benjamin Newman drove to the Hangout bar in Plano, to continue drinking with Christopher Brigman and Newman's former girlfriend. The three drank heavily at the bar until deciding to leave and drive home.

Staff from the Hangout noticed that Brigman appeared intoxicated, and they attempted to stop him from driving home when Newman became confrontational and aggressive. Showing signs that he too was intoxicated, the staff also attempted to prevent Newman from driving home, but Newman was able to leave after bumping a staff member with his car. The Hangout staff informed Newman before he sped off that they had taken a photo of his license plate and that they would be contacting Plano Police.

After Newman left, Brigman decided to go inside and arrange a ride home. As Brigman was being escorted back into the Hangout by three staff members, Newman re-entered the parking lot and accelerated his vehicle directly into the men he had just had the confrontation with. Brigman was struck and killed, and two staff members were injured, one seriously. Newman immediately sped off without stopping.

The jury returned a guilty verdict on Jan. 28, 2016 for Murder and two counts of Aggravated Assault. During punishment, Newman's former girlfriend testified the defendant had been physically abusive with her on multiple occasions. Newman was sentenced to 75 years for murder with 20 and 10 years respectively on the aggravated assault counts, to run concurrently.  

Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Cynthia Walker and Brandon Wonnacott prosecuted the cases and were assisted by District Attorney Investigator Mike Smith. The case was investigated by Plano Detective Brian Pfahning.