Electrician maintains innocence


A National City electrician told a jury Tuesday he did not kill an Ocean Beach man whose body has never been found; he disappeared in 2017.

Brian Eleron Hancock, 49, said he was in contact with Peter Bentz, 68, for five days after Bentz disappeared Nov. 21, 2017. Hancock claimed Bentz had planned a vacation to Mexico and doesn’t know what happened to him.

Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Dort showed Hancock some bloody sections of the carpeting in Bentz’s apartment, and Hancock said he never saw any blood stains. Investigators found Bentz’s blood in 17 locations in his apartment and it appeared someone tried to clean up the scene.

Hancock said Bentz gave him credit cards and his car to use because Hancock was low on funds. Hancock confirmed he purchased bleach, a saw, a “survival knife,” cleaning supplies, and other items.

The seven woman, five man jury and San Diego Superior Court Judge Joan Weber have seen video surveillance footage of Hancock inside the Chula Vista Walmart at 2 a.m. and other stores. Hancock said he purchased a hand trowel and gloves for a job in Paradise Hills.

Hancock said he wasn’t angry at Bentz after hearing a woman tell him that Bentz videotaped Hancock and herself while having sex and put the tape online. The woman said she got a message with a clip to a video that asked her “is this you, Rosa?”

Hancock testified that he and the woman could not open the video, so he wondered what was on it. He said he received assurances from Bentz that he did not videotape them.

Dort said in his opening statement on Jan. 7 that Hancock was enraged by the idea of a sex video of himself and this woman. Dort said Hancock had admitted to a friend that he stabbed Bentz seven times.

Hancock told jurors he was not upset because “there wasn’t a video.” In fact, Hancock said that Bentz had videotaped him and Bentz engaging in sex acts and that Bentz put it online.

Hancock said the only apprehension he had about the video was that he didn’t want his wife or children to see it. He said he was reassured that it was only a live feed that someone could not access afterwards.

Hancock also said he showed up at Bentz’s apartment days before he disappeared and found him making a sex video with three other men. Hancock claimed Bentz offered him up to $3,000 to be in the video. He also said that he told the truth about it to his wife when he got home.

“How’d that go?” asked Dort.

“Not well,” replied Hancock. “I told her I was making a video, a group sex video. I told her it was me and three other guys.”

“She was very upset with that information. She said, ‘How could you do this?” said

Hancock, adding that he did it for the money. “She was still livid, disgusted.”

Electrician maintains innocence