Father of slain teen: ‘Justice was finally served’ in Victor Santana murder case

The trial for Victor Santana, accused of shooting and killing two teenagers in August 2019 who were sitting in a car smoking marijuana in his detached garage behind his home in Dayton. PARKER PERRY/STAFF

Credit: Parker Perry

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The trial for Victor Santana, accused of shooting and killing two teenagers in August 2019 who were sitting in a car smoking marijuana in his detached garage behind his home in Dayton. PARKER PERRY/STAFF

Credit: Parker Perry

Credit: Parker Perry

Victor Santana was found guilty of murder in the 2019 shooting of two 17-year-olds in Dayton.

The father of a Dayton teen who was shot and killed in a detached garage is relieved that the shooter was convicted of murder.

“I felt relieved that justice was finally served in my favor and our favor,” said Jimmy Harrison, the father of 17-year-old Javier Harrison. “When I first heard (the verdict), I think I probably cried a little bit. It was just a relief.”

“It won’t bring my son back, but it’s justice,” Jimmy Harrison said.

ExploreRELATED: Murder trial begins for Dayton man who shot teens in his garage

Thursday evening, 65-year-old Victor Santana was found guilty of multiple counts of murder and felonious assault after a three-day trial in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court. He was acquitted of one felonious assault charge.

Santana shot Javier Harrison and 17-year-old Devin Henderson to death in August 2019 as the teens trespassed onto his property to smoke marijuana.

Prosecutors said the teens thought the vehicle they went into was abandoned, and that Santana snuck up on the 17-year-olds and their friend before opening fire.

Santana’s attorney argued the garage was pitch-dark and Santana was acting in self-defense at the time of the shooting. The attorney, Lucas Wilder, declined to comment after the verdict Thursday evening.

Santana remains held in the Montgomery County Jail and is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 20.

Jimmy Harrison watched every second of the court proceedings. He said he thought prosecutors did a good job painting their version of events.

“I just thank the people who did support us, I thank the community and just hope that this sets an example. I don’t think this will be the last time this situation will happen. There is a lot of different things in our community that are always ongoing,” Jimmy Harrison said.

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Javier Harrison, left, and Devin Henderson, both 17, were fatally shot Aug. 28, 2019, in a double shooting in the 800 block of Conners Street in Dayton.

Javier Harrison, left, and Devin Henderson, both 17, were fatally shot Aug. 28, 2019, in a double shooting in the 800 block of Conners Street in Dayton.

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Javier Harrison, left, and Devin Henderson, both 17, were fatally shot Aug. 28, 2019, in a double shooting in the 800 block of Conners Street in Dayton.

The verdict was issued after multiple witnesses testified, including Ja’shin Gibson, who was with Harrison and Henderson during the shooting.

Gibson, 19 at the time, said he thought the vehicle was abandoned in the garage and that the trio just wanted a place to smoke pot.

ExploreRELATED: Survivor in garage shooting case says man fired quickly

“We just wanted to get high, go home,” he said.

Gibson said Santana opened the door and fired shots into the vehicle without warning.

“He didn’t say nothing at all,” he testified.

Gibson, who was not shot, said he hid underneath the car and was able to escape once Santana left.

ExploreRELATED: Judge won’t allow man accused of killing Dayton teens to use Ohio’s new stand your ground law as defense

Wilder told the jury that Santana was watching TV when he heard and saw people he thought were adults going through his front gate around 11 p.m. and that Santana was afraid they were going to come into his house. Santana retrieved his gun, lost sight of the people and went outside to find them.

Wilder said after Santana got to the garage, he opened a car door and found the teens inside. He said Santana didn’t know whether the individuals inside had weapons or were going to attack him.

“In that moment, fear hits him and he decides to shoot,” Wilder said.

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Victor Santana

Credit: MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL

Victor Santana

Credit: MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL

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Victor Santana

Credit: MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL

Credit: MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL

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