Suspect Indicted For Murder In Overdose Death Of Benson Teen

A Johnston County Grand Jury has returned a True Bill of Indictment charging a man with second degree murder in the opioid overdose death of a 2017 graduate from West Johnston High School.

Joshua John Novak of Willow Spring is accused of providing heroin to 18 year-old Justin “Cole” Bennett of Benson who died in August from a fatal overdose, just weeks after graduating from high school.

A grand jury met in Smithfield this month and indicted the 24 year-old suspect for Bennett’s death.

The indictment alleges Novak “unlawfully, willfully, knowingly and feloniously did distribute or provide a controlled substance (opium) … to Justin Cole Bennett and the ingestion of such substance caused the death of Justin Cole Bennett.”

Bennett was a member of the Lighthouse Baptist Church in Benson.

Novak was arrested September 22nd by the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office on the second degree murder charge.  The indictment was handed down on October 2nd.

This was not Novak’s first brush was the law. He was convicted in March 2017 for habitual breaking and entering and felony obtaining property by false pretenses stemming from a February 2017 break-in on Beulah Melton Drive in Willow Spring.  He was sentenced to 12 months probation according to the NC Department of Corrections website.

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  • Teresa Walker

    He deserves life

  • We need to keep these habitual felons in prison and off the roads. They get probation so they can sell drugs to young people who die from it.

    • Eric Johnson

      How about teach your young people to say no drugs.
      People die from alcholo and cigarettes even more,and it’s proven, yet it’s still legal. Why ? Because they know how to tax it.

  • Eric Johnson

    Why is everyone saying he deserves life, he’s a felon, he’s this and that. How about keeps your kids from doing heroin or opium. How you going to put the blame on someone else for your child’s actions. That’s like filling a lawsuit against budlight because your son doesn’t know or wasn’t taught how to control his alcohol and dies of a car accident. People die from alcohol overdose, alcohol accidents all the time, people die from drug overdose all the time too. Everyone knows the outcomes of doing illegal stuff, so why put the blame on a guy that was selling it. the guy the bought it and consumed it knew exactly what he was buying, DRUGS. So doesn’t try to blame this guy for a kids stupid decision. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

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  • Teresa Walker

    He deserves life

  • We need to keep these habitual felons in prison and off the roads. They get probation so they can sell drugs to young people who die from it.

    • Eric Johnson

      How about teach your young people to say no drugs.
      People die from alcholo and cigarettes even more,and it’s proven, yet it’s still legal. Why ? Because they know how to tax it.

  • Eric Johnson

    Why is everyone saying he deserves life, he’s a felon, he’s this and that. How about keeps your kids from doing heroin or opium. How you going to put the blame on someone else for your child’s actions. That’s like filling a lawsuit against budlight because your son doesn’t know or wasn’t taught how to control his alcohol and dies of a car accident. People die from alcohol overdose, alcohol accidents all the time, people die from drug overdose all the time too. Everyone knows the outcomes of doing illegal stuff, so why put the blame on a guy that was selling it. the guy the bought it and consumed it knew exactly what he was buying, DRUGS. So doesn’t try to blame this guy for a kids stupid decision. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.