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Mark Everett Killed by Police
Written by Marcel Damen   
Monday, 05 January 2009

Child actor Mark Everett, better know to Galactica 1980 fans as one of the Galactica children that crash land on Earth, was shot by the police on December 23, 2008. Mark Everett, who's real name was Manuel Benitez, was wanted by the FBI in connection with the 2004 murder of his girlfriend. In an attempt to end a hostage situation where he held his own son Benjamin at gunpoint, Benitez was killed by the police.

Mark Everett, born September 28, 1969, as Manuel Benitez had his break as a child actor on Galactica 1980. He starred as one of the Galactica children on the episodes The Super Scouts (Part 1 & 2), The Night the Cylons Landed (Part 1) and Space Croppers. In the episode The Super Scouts the school ship Delphi is attecked by Cylons. A shuttle carrying the children and Capt. Troy crash land on Earth. While on the Galactica they work on how to retrieve their crewmembers, meanwhile Troy, Dillon and the children disguise as a group of boyscouts.

 

Mark Everett (holding book) and the group of Super Scouts on Galactica 1980

Mark Everett (holding book) and the group of Super Scouts on Galactica 1980

 

Mark Everett as Super Scout on Galactica 1980

Mark Everett as Super Scout on Galactica 1980

 

Mark Everett continued his acting career in series like Highway to Heaven and movies like Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Stand and Deliver in 1988 was his last role as an actor.

On June 21, 2004, Manuel Benitez / Mark Everett allegedly bludgeoned his girlfriend Stephanie Spears to death with a dumbbell inside their home during a fit of rage over a bad break-up. After the break-up Benitez allegedly tried to take their son Benjamin, who was 3 at the time, while Spears was asleep. When she woke up and confronted him, he became enraged and attacked her. Benitez then reportedly took off with his son and was believed to have fled with his mother Elizabeth Velasco to Cuba or Mexico, where Velasco has family ties.

On May 11, 2005, a state warrant was issued by the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, for Benitez's arrest after he was charged with murder. He was also charged federally with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and an arrest warrant was issued by the United States District Court, Central District of California, on March 21, 2006, according to the FBI's Web site. In June 2007, the FBI offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

 

Mark Everett / Manuel Benitez, recent picture

Mark Everett / Manuel Benitez, recent picture

 

On October 2, 2004 and and February 26, 2005, Manuel Benitez / Mark Everett starred on two episodes of America;s Most Wanted.  

The events that culminated with Benitez's death began about 2:30 p.m. on December 23, 2008, when El Monte police responded to a call of a suspicious person with a child near the intersection of Ramona Boulevard and Santa Anita Avenue. When officers arrived at the scene, they found Benitez armed with a handgun. Benitez then reportedly grabbed his son Benjamin and positioned him between himself and police. Benitez then took the boy inside Tai Pan Chinese Food, and locked himself and the child inside a bathroom, threatening to kill himself, Benjamin, and any responding officers.

Crisis negotiators entered the restaurant, establishing communication with the man for roughly two hours, but he refused to comply with their requests to surrender or release the child. Hours into the standoff, the bathroom door opened, and the Special Weapons Crisis Entry Team deployed a flash-bang device inside the room. The team then entered the bathroom, attempting to rescue the boy and take the suspect into custody. Then, "an officer-involved shooting occurred,". The suspect suffered a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene. Two handguns in Benitez's possession were recovered following the shooting. Shortly after that, officers emerged from the restaurant carrying the boy, who suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his leg, according to the sheriff's department. It was unclear who fired the shot that wounded him.

 
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