Dayton Daily News

    By Lou Grieco

    Staff Writer

    Dayton-Darnell T. Valentine, whose murder trial was to start Monday, instead pleaded guilty to murder & aggravated

    In return, prosecutors dropped a tampering with evidence charge and a firearm specification which would have
    automatically added three years to his sentence.

    “I feel bad for our family and I also feel bad for his family,”

    said William Dice, father of Benjamen Hugo Dice.

    “Two families have been adversely affected by this.”

    Benjamen Dice, 30, was shot to death June 19 at 229 Victor Ave. in what police called a drug related homicide.

    Drug paraphernalia was found at the scene.

    Valentine, now 22, was arrested July 6 at his West Carrollton home.

    The murder conviction would carry a 15 years-to-life sentence, Retired Visiting Judge Richard S. Dodge told Valentine.

    Dodge added he would consider making any sentence for the aggravated burglary conviction run concurrent with the
    murder sentence.

    Valentine is scheduled to be sentenced May 9.

    William Dice, who last saw his son on Father’s Day, one day before the shooting, said the plea would spare both families
    the pain of a trial.

    Dice added that the family still does not know exactly what led up to his son’s shooting,

    but said drugs are a part of a larger scourge on the Dayton area.

    “We have an enormous drug problem,”

    Dice said.

    “That’s why my son is dead and that’s why another guy is going to prison.”

    Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2057 or
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