40 year sentence given in stabbing death of teen in Mableton

Naseer Benefield (victim of stabbing death in Mableton) (photo courtesy of the Cobb County District Attorney's office)Naseer Benefield (victim) (photo courtesy of the Cobb County District Attorney's office)

Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds announced in a press release that Dawson Lee Wagner, 19, of Woodstock, has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for the stabbing death of Naseer Benefield, 17.  Benefield’s body was found on a playground at Sierra Forest Apartments on Mableton Parkway on the morning of November 20, 2017.

Detectives C. Grimstead and T. Richie of the Cobb County Police Department connected Wagner to the crime with the use of phone records.

The sentence was handed down by Assisting Superior Court Judge Henry Thompson.  Attorneys Darryl Cohen and Johnna Lee of Atlanta were the defense attorneys for Wagner.

“This was a senseless crime of overwhelming violence perpetrated by an individual who displayed an utter lack of remorse for the crimes he committed,” Senior ADA Jennifer Stevenson said. “We hope that this conviction brings some measure of closure to the family of Naseer Benefield, which has been devastated by this tragic loss.”

Wagner pleaded guilty on Friday to charges of voluntary manslaughter, possession of a knife during commission of a felony, concealing a death and making a false statement.  He has been in custody in the Cobb County Jail since December of 2017.  The time he has been in custody will be credited to his sentence.

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Larry Felton Johnson
Larry Felton Johnson is the editor and publisher of the Cobb County Courier. He holds a degree in journalism from Georgia State University and enjoys exploring the county's trail and greenway network when he isn't covering county government meetings and court proceedings.

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