Man arrested for murder of Zionsville trail victim

James Earl Hughes (Photo By Boone County Jail)

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. — Zionsville police have arrested someone for the murder of a man found dead along a popular trail.

Police say they have arrested 23-year-old James Earl Hughes, of Zionsville, for the murder of 23-year-old Samuel T. Bennett.

Bennett’s body was found April 28 in a retention pond near the Big-4 Rail Trail in Zionsville.

An Autopsy showed Bennett had been shot twice, according to police.

Officials say evidence gathered at and near the scene of the crime, as well as through 12 warrants, led to Hughes’ arrest.

Hughes was taken into custody in Indianapolis and has been taken to the Boone County Jail with no bond, police say.

Police had previously arrested 28-year-old David Meschino, of Zionsville, for providing firearms to an ineligible person. Per a probable cause affidavit, Meschino told officers he had previously purchased three firearms for Hughes, who told Meschino he was unable to purchase them himself because of a felony conviction.

When officers asked Meschino why Hughes needed the guns, Meschino told them because someone had “beef with James,” according to the probable cause affidavit.

The Zionsville Police Department is still urging anyone with information regarding this investigation to contact the
department at 317-873-5967.

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