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June 5, 2014

Henry’s parents file wrongful death suit against Bench, Teepee Totem owners

VELMA — Nearly two years after the death of their daughter, Braylee Rae Henry’s parents filed a wrongful death suit against Miles Sterling Bench and the owners/operators of the Velma convenience store Teepee Totem.

In June 2012, 16-year-old Henry was beaten to death inside the convenience store where Bench worked. Bench, 23, of Velma, was arrested for her death and charged with first-degree murder.

On Monday, Henry’s parents Billy Ray Henry and Gina Renee’ Henson filed a suit against Bench, and both individually and collectively against Kimberly K. McDevitt, Betty Payne Tilley and Kelly Michelle.

In the suit, Henson and Bill Ray Henry allege the three women were “negligent in the hiring of said Miles Sterling Bench, failing to conduct appropriate background checks, failing to supervise the said Miles Sterling Bench, and in so doing created an unreasonable risk of danger to the public and plaintiffs’ decendent, Braylee Rae Henry, in particularly,” according to the petition.

Although Bench was arrested nearly two years ago, he remains in custody of the Stephens County Jail. The Stephens County District Attorney’s Office is seeking the death penalty in his case. Bench is also set for a second competency hearing, which is slated to begin Friday.

Through the petition, Henry’s parents are seeking compensation for more than $75,000. This money is what her parents feel they’re entitled to resulting from “damages resulting from the wrongful death of their minor child, for medical and burial expenses, pain and suffering to said child, loss of anticipated services, support love and companionship, loss of monies in support of said minor child and pecuniary loss to said survivors,” according to the petition.

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