There will be no charges in a fatal September shooting that occurred in Batesville, announced Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Huerkamp.

According to Prosecutor Huerkamp, the death resulted from a justifiable use of force by the shooter to defend his mother from a violent attack at the hands of the deceased.

On September 7, 2020 (Labor Day), officers from the Batesville Police Department responded to a domestic violence 911 call from an apartment on Arlington Drive shortly after 8:00 a.m. Upon arrival at the scene, they discovered the body of Benny Flannery, 46, with the cause of death being a gunshot wound to the chest. The initial evidence suggested, and was later confirmed by the full investigation, that Flannery was shot by a 17-year-old male juvenile resident of the apartment as he was committing a violent attack upon the juvenile’s mother, his girlfriend, in the kitchen area.

During the attack, Flannery was armed with a knife, and according to witnesses, was threatening to “gut her”. The juvenile, having been awakened by the commotion, threats, and his mother’s calls for help, then grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun from its safe, loaded it, and headed toward the kitchen. There, he found Flannery holding his mother by her throat, up against a wall, while wielding the knife. She was begging Flannery to stop the attack. The juvenile told Flannery to let his mother go or he would shoot. Flannery refused, and the fatal shot to the chest followed.

In addition to calling 911 immediately, the juvenile and his mother were cooperative with responding officers and investigators. On the day of the shooting, Batesville Police Chief Stan Holt and Prosecutor Huerkamp agreed that because of the strong initial evidence that the shooting was justified, neither the juvenile nor his mother should be further detained or placed under formal arrest.

According to Huerkamp, under Indiana Law, a person: (1) is justified in using deadly force; and; (2) does not have a duty to retreat, if that person reasonably believes that force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person or the commission of a forcible felony (citation: I.C. 35-41-3-2(c)). This is otherwise known as the doctrine of self-defense or defense of others, which serves as a complete bar to criminal prosecution.

The completed investigation—including but not limited to 911 calls, witness statements, physical evidence from the scene, and Flannery’s autopsy report—confirmed that the shooting was indeed justified under the circumstances.

“Based on the totality of the evidence, it is crystal clear to me that the only individual committing any violent crimes that morning was Mr. Flannery,” said Huerkamp, citing the offenses of Intimidation & Battery while armed with a Deadly Weapon and Domestic Battery, just to name few. “All of these are defined as “forcible felonies”, and therefore the juvenile’s use of deadly force was reasonable and legally justifiable under the circumstances to prevent Flannery from continuing the vicious attack on his mother.”

It should be noted that Benny Flannery had an extensive criminal history. In fact, he was released from the Indiana Department of Corrections in December 2019 after serving sentences for Robbery, Dealing Methamphetamine, Theft, and Possession of Narcotics. He had also served prison time in the 2000s as a result of previous felony convictions.

This case highlights a disturbing trend—the rise of domestic violence in Indiana. According to the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Indiana saw a 102% increase in domestic violence related deaths from March 1, 2020 – December 2020 compared to the same period the previous year. There were 3 DV-related deaths in the Batesville area alone in 2020 –although there hadn’t been one since 2016 (source: Safe Passage, Inc.).

But the facts of the case also made quite an impression on the prosecutor.

“This young man’s quick thinking and incredibly brave actions probably saved his mother’s life,” said Huerkamp. “At 8 in the morning on a holiday, he was confronted with an almost unimaginable scene—a violent criminal attacking his mother at knifepoint in the kitchen. It’s easy to say what you think you would do in a situation like this, but no one—especially no high school-aged kid—would ever want to face this in reality. He is a HERO. Period.”

In addition to the terrific work from the Batesville Police Department, Prosecutor Huerkamp would like to acknowledge the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department (in particular the 911 Dispatchers), Franklin County Coroner Brian Baxter, and Safe Passage, Inc., for their assistance in the investigation of this incident and its aftermath.

Further, for victims of family violence in the Ripley/Franklin County Area, Safe Passage, Inc. can provide resources to help with safety or just someone to talk to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can be reached at 1-877-733-1990 or www.safepassageinc.org. Every service is FREE and completely confidential.


Respectfully submitted,
Chris Huerkamp
Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney