DAYTONA BEACH, FL – According to a joint press release by the State Attorney, Seventh Judicial Circuit and the Office of Volusia County Sheriff Michael Chitwood, 36-year-old David Debenedictis is facing a possible life sentence following his conviction on five felony charges today, May 6, 2021, after a two-and-a-half day trial. A Volusia Jury comprised of four women and two men deliberated for two hours before returning the guilty verdicts.
Debenedictis, and a co-defendant, whose case remains pending, were charged with arson, burglary while armed, grand theft, grand theft of a firearm, and possession of amphetamines, all felonies, stemming from a criminal episode that resulted in the burning of a New Smyrna Beach home and a theft of several firearms, jewelry, cash, and other personal items. Debenedictis is a 10-time convicted felon, including grand thefts, robbery, and aggravated battery. A sentencing hearing has been set for June 16 at 1:30pm at the S. James Foxman Justice Center in Daytona Beach.
Following the conviction, State Attorney R.J. Larizza said, “Making justice a reality requires a team effort. We are fortunate to have great partners in Sheriff Mike Chitwood and the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.”
Sheriff Michael Chitwood had this to say following the conviction,
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“The day that career scumbag David Debenedictis got locked up was a great day for Volusia County, and my hope is that he’s never going to walk free to victimize another innocent person. I want to thank State Attorney Larizza and his team for making this conviction happen, and protecting our community from a scumbag who has no respect for his fellow man, their property, or the law.”
Assistant State Attorney Kevin Sullivan, of the State Attorney’s Career Criminal Unit, prosecuted the case. Circuit Judge Dennis Craig presided over the case and will pronounce sentence.