Benton Christopher Howard appeared in Starke Circuit Court for his initial hearing Wednesday afternoon.
On Nov. 30, Howard allegedly stabbed Brandon Davidson at a residence in Knox with a knife with a six to eight inch blade. The knife caused damage to Davidson’s heart and collapsed a lung.
A warrant was issued for Howard’s arrest and he turned himself into the Starke County Jail on Friday, Dec. 12.
Howard, 42, pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, a Level 1 felony, and aggravated battery, a Level 3 felony. A Level 1 felony carries a sentence of 20 to 40 years if convicted while a Level 3 felony carries a sentence of three to six years.
Judge Kim Hall told Howard that he is to have no contact with Brandon Davidson and Howard claimed that he did not know Davidson. Judge Hall told Howard that if he is out on bond and encounters a person matching Davidson’s description or if the person says he is Brandon Davidson then he is to have no contact with him.
Judge Hall left Howard’s bond at $250,000 surety. Howard’s attorney, Richard Ballard, said he would be filing a notice for a bond hearing at a later date.