Competency ruling pending for man accused in parents' murder

Aug. 23—Whether Joseph L. Benge is competent to stand trial for the murder of his parents in 2020 is now in the hands of a Laurel Circuit Judge.

Benge, 43, is charged with the Sept. 15, 2020, murder of his parents, Johnny and Mary Benge. The couple was found inside their home, shot, when the couple's other son went to check on them on that Tuesday evening.

Joseph Benge is also accused of taking money from the home that belonged to the church his parents pastored. Additionally, he took the couple's car and left the scene. That sent authorities on a search for his whereabouts with some information that he might be headed toward western Kentucky to visit some family there.

After contacting police in the area, Benge was located and taken into custody the following day. He was transported back to London and has been held in the Laurel County Correctional Center since his arrest and remains held under $500,000 bond.