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Niagara Falls man gets life without parole in double homicide

Billy Benton, Jr. was also sentenced to 40 years for an unrelated shooting that took place several months earlier.

LOCKPORT, N.Y. — A Niagara Falls man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for the May, 2020 deaths of a mother and her son.

Niagara County Court Judge Tuesday sentenced Billy Benton, Jr. to life without the possibility of parole for the murders of Sonia Hamilton and Brian Harris. First Assistant District Attorney Doreen Hoffmann, who represented the people's case, described it as the most brutal murder she had ever prosecuted.

The incident took place on May 7 on 9th Street. When police arrived at the scene that morning they found Sonia Hamilton, 60, on the sidewalk suffering from several stab wounds and a gunshot wound. Her son, Brian Harris, 31, was found dead inside the home. He had also been shot and stabbed. Hamilton was rushed to ECMC where she later died from her wounds.

"The brutality of these crimes and the extreme danger that this defendant poses to the public warrant this result," said Niagara County District Attorney Brian Seaman. "This sentence ensures that Billy Benton will never again be free to victimize anybody else."

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