No jail time for man who provided gun to murderer


Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly stated Meschino’s crime. It has been corrected to clarify that Meschino was sentenced for attempting to provide firearms to an ineligible person.

The man who purchased the gun used to kill 23-year-old Samuel T. Bennett in 2019 has been sentenced to three years of probation with no jail time for attempting to provide firearms to an ineligible person, a Level 5 felony.

David Meschino Jr. received the sentence as part of a plea deal on Jan 21 in Boone Superior Court 1. He was given a one-day credit for the time he spent in jail during his initial arrest.

Bennett was murdered by James Earl Hughes near the Rail Trail in Zionsville on April 28, 2019. Police found the body in a retention pond near town hall and, after investigations concluded, determined it to be a random act of violence. The autopsy found that Bennett had been shot twice.

Meschino bought the firearm used in the murder, along with two others, specifically for Hughes at Don’s Guns in Indianapolis in 2018. He said they were purchased with Hughes’ money and were immediately handed over to Hughes. Meschino said he bought the guns for Hughes because Hughes said he couldn’t buy them himself because of a previous felony conviction. It was later discovered that Hughes only had a record of misdemeanors at the time.

According to court documents, Mescino said Hughes wanted the weapons because he was “beefing” with another individual.

Hughes pleaded guilty to Bennett’s murder in September 2021 and received a 50-year prison sentence.