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Man found dead in wooded area off Heltz Road in Lakeview after alleged assault

Posted at 1:38 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-11 23:38:08-04

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) — A man was found dead in a wooded area off of Heltz Road in Lakeview early Sunday after an alleged assault, according to Town of Hamburg police.

Police said officers responded to the report of an assault around 1:45 a.m. Sunday and 25-year-old Brenden Benoit of Boston, N.Y. was found dead in the woods. Six people have been charged in connection to the incident.

26-year-old Jared Adamski has been charged with first-degree manslaughter. 20-year-old Harrison Drozen, 22-year-old Conner Krone, 19-year-old Kayleigh Skybyk-Schuh, 18-year-old Larissa Smith and 20-year-old Elexus Dean have been charged with second-degree assault. Additional charges may be filed.

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Six defendants were charged in the case.

According to police, the six people allegedly lured Benoit into the woods with the intent to assault him and during the assault he sustained knife wounds caused by Adamski.

Erie County DA John Flynn provided an update following the arraignments, you can watch the update below.

"Once the victim got out of the car, the three boys now came out of the woods and came at the victim. One of the three boys allegedly punched the victim as he was trying to scramble back into the vehicle presumably for safety. Another one of the young men, not the puncher, then allegedly got in the vehicle and then inside the vehicle allegedly stabbed the victim inside the vehicle," Flynn described.

In Hamburg Town Court Monday after the prosecutor stated this was planned revenge against the victim. 

DA Fynn says investigators know why the defendants lured the victim to the area, but can't release it because it's a key part of the evidence.

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Defendants in court.

"There is no evidence at this time that the other individuals had any indication that a manslaughter was going to take place," stated Flynn. "The alleged conspiracy here was just to rough up and beat up the victim, and that was it."

Adamski is being held without bail. The five others are being held on bail. Felony hearings for all six are set for this Friday in Hamburg Town Court.