Bennett pleads guilty to capital murder - KOAM TV 7

Bennett pleads guilty to capital murder


Updated December 11, 2017: A former Montgomery County man today pleaded guilty to capital murder and three counts of first-degree premeditated murder, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.

David Cornell Bennett Jr., 26, formerly of Cherryvale, pleaded guilty to the four counts in Labette County District Court. District Judge Jeff Jack accepted the plea and scheduled sentencing for February 16, 2018, at 10 a.m. in Parsons.

As part of the plea agreement, Schmidt withdrew the state’s notice of intent to seek the death penalty in the case. Under Kansas law, Bennett will receive the only other sentence authorized for capital murder, life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Bennett was charged with the crimes in connection with the November 2013 deaths of Cami Umbarger and her three minor children in Parsons. Bennett pleaded guilty to one count of murder in connection with the death of each of the four victims.

The case was investigated by the Parsons Police Department and Kansas Bureau of Investigation. Assistant Attorney General Jessica Domme, Labette County Attorney Stephen Jones, former Assistant Attorney General Amy Hanley, and the late Assistant Attorneys General Steve Wilhoft and Lee Davidson prosecuted the case.

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Updated May 21, 2015:  The state Attorney General's Office has filed today to seek the death penalty for David Bennett, Jr.. The trial is tentatively set October 5, 2015 in Parsons, KS. A venue has yet to be determined because the courthouse does not have enough seating. 

Bennett is accused of killing his former girlfriend and three children back in 2014 at their home in Parsons. 

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Updated March 31, 2015:  The Judge decided to continue this morning's trial arraignment in Labette County. The next court date is set for May 21st. 

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Pittsburg, KS - (Starting from the top is the most recent update in the Trial Proceedings)

1:22PM - Judge Finds probable cause to bind Bennett on all counts. Arraingment to be held Feb. 19th in Parsons

1:13PM - Court Back In Session

11:48AM - Defense calls no witnesses; Court in recess.

Defense question Rosebrough about a hair found on Umbarger Agent testifies hair didn't belong to Bennett & is being tested

Rosebrough testified a knife found at a hotel room previously occupied by Bennett contained blood from Umbarger.

Rosebrough testifies two victims were found under beds in one of the bedrooms. Other two victims were found in utility room closet & dryer.

Brooks excused. KBI agent Steve Rosebrough called to the stand.

Brooks exhibits submitted by the State. Exhibits included autopsy photos of the victims.

Ryder excused. State calls Beth Brooks of the KBI.

Ryder testifies that print outs of Facebook posts from Bennett to Umbarger were found in a purse confirming previous testimony.

Simmons is excused. State calls Jeff Ryder of the KBI.

Simmons testified that upon arresting Bennett, cards containing Cami Umbarger's name on them were found on Bennett.

Wiford excused. State calls former Independence policeman Jason Simmons.

Court has resumed. State attorneys have called Kyle Wiford to the stand.

A short mid morning recess has been called for. 6 witnesses have been examined.

6 witnesses then break

Debbie Umbarger has just taken the stand in the David Bennett court case.

4th witness Debbie Umbarger, Cami mother.

3rd witness Steven Trammell, trammell testified Umbarger called him after Bennett broke into Umbarger's house and raped her.

2nd witness was Tabitha Edie, a friend of Cami Umbarger.

1st witness was Neil Springer was a policemen.Follow us on Twitter:  @koamnews  & @NewsAt9

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