Contact: David Chapman
Phone: (904) 255-3004
Cell: (904) 524-6626

March 28, 2024


State Attorney Melissa Nelson announces that a Duval County jury found Cleo Bentley III guilty of First-Degree Murder; Attempted First-Degree Murder; Attempted Armed Robbery; Armed Burglary with Assault or Battery; and Assault. With the verdict, Bentley faces a mandatory life sentence. The Honorable Jonathan Sacks will sentence Bentley at a later date.

On Dec. 14, 2018, officers with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office responded to a shooting on Old Baymeadows Road where two victims were taken to the hospital. A 16-year-old victim died from his injuries, but his 22-year-old brother survived. The investigation found that the two victims and their friend were sitting in their car in front of their apartment listening to music. Two men — Bentley and Robert Chrome Jr. — approached the car from opposite sides, opened the doors, and began beating the victims and striking them in the head with handguns. They demanded money and sorted through the victims’ pockets. When one of the victims attempted to drive off, Bentley shot into the car hitting the brothers. Two shell casings and a cloth glove were collected from the scene. One casing and a projectile were collected from inside the car. Two projectiles were collected from the deceased victim during an autopsy. DNA from the glove was entered into CODIS and matched Bentley, who was arrested in Arizona on an arrest warrant for a different crime. During his arrest, his 9mm handgun —that matched the shell casings and projectiles from the scene — was confiscated. Bentley’s DNA was also found inside the victim’s car on the passenger seat headrest where the deceased victim had been sitting.

Chrome is being tried separately.

The case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Sheila Loizos.

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