James Benson, the man accused of gunning down his wife and her mother at a Fort Oglethorpe hospital in January, has pleaded guilty.
Benson, 59, entered his plea today before Walker County Superior Court judge Ralph Van Pelt, who sentenced him to two life sentences. He will be eligible for parole in 30 years.
Benson is charged with the murder of his 56-year-old estranged wife, Mary Sue Benson, and her mother, 77-year-old Charlotte Johnson, on Jan. 6 at Erlanger at Hutcheson hospital.
Police say he emptied a. 38-caliber revolver with five bullets into the women’s chests while in the intensive care unit’s waiting room.
Immediately after the shooting he drove to the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department and turned himself in.
In court today, Benson explained how he shot the two women, which is required when a defendant pleads guilty.
District attorney Herbert “Buzz” Franklin said Benson offered no apology and showed no remorse during his explanation. At least eight family members were present at today’s proceedings, he said.
Franklin said he is satisfied with the outcome of the case.
“The families have been through a great deal of stress,” Franklin said. “They have suffered through the loss of family members and experienced health-related problems as a result of this case.”
The two slain women were visiting Myra Gail McCrary in the intensive care unit at Hutcheson hospital, where McCrary was in a coma. McCrary died a week after the shooting.