Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

September 17, 2013

Most ask, "Who is Jacob Bennett?"

CROSSVILLE — The question weighing on many Cumberland Countians following Friday's press conference and announcement that a suspect had been taken into custody in connection with the quadruple homicide on Renegade Mountain Thursday is, "Who is Jacob Bennett?"

Bennett was born June 16, 1987, in Jacksonville, FL, according to his booking sheet issued upon his entrance into the Cumberland County Justice Center. He lists his religion as Baptist. He listed his grandmother as his next-of-kin, but her name was blacked out by authorities when the booking sheet was released.

Authorities have alluded to Bennett having a lengthy criminal record, although he has only been arrested five times in Cumberland County on a total of two Criminal Court cases.

WBIR-TV Channel 10 in Knoxville reported that their investigation uncovered the following:

•Bennett was arrested by Santa Rosa County, FL authorities on three felonies in 1999 when he was age 12. Charges were burglary, larceny and vandalism of more than $1,000 (damage to property);

•In February 2001, Bennett was charged in Santa Rosa County again. This time the charges were felony larceny and damage to property;

•Santa Rosa County authorities in April 2005 charged Bennett with felony larceny and possession of stolen property. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to just over one year and ordered to pay $800 restitution and $100 court costs;

•In Citrus County, where Bennett was incarcerated, four months later charged him with felony battery on a dentention staff member and probation officer. He pleaded guilty and was fined $500;

•Two months after his release, in August 2006, Escambia County authorities charged him with felony fondling of a child age 12 and age 15. He pleaded guilty to lewd and lascivious behavior but was not required to register as a sex offender;

•and, in January 2009 the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office issued a warrant for Bennett's arrest for fraudulent activities.

About that time, Bennett moved to Cumberland County to live with his grandmother and in March of 2009, he was charged with theft of less than $10,000, and also listed a hold for the state of Florida. His booking sheet lists a Milton, FL, address as his home.

Bennett's criminal record in Cumberland County includes a January 2009 indictment for theft of more than $1,000 for stealing a 2003 Jeep from a Renegade Mountain resident.

In March of 2010, Bennett waived presentment of a case of forgery involving a check taken in the Fentress County burglary and pleaded guilty to both the theft and forgery charges here. He received a two-year prison sentence.

In July 2009, Bennett was indicted by the Fentress County grand jury on a theft of more than $500 charge for stealing a rifle, ring, coins and checks from a Fentress County couple. He pleaded guilty to the charge on March 8, 2010 and received a two-year sentence to be served at 30 percent.

Bennett was also indicted in July 2009 in Fentress county on charges theft, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, attempted theft, attempted solicitation or sexual exploitation of a minor and exploitation of a minor. He pleaded guilty to theft, attempted theft and possession of the firearm, and received a total of two years in prison.

A probation violation warrant was issued for Bennett in May 2009 because Bennett failed to report to his probation officer after being released from the Cumberland County Jail. Criminal Court Judge David Patterson revoked his probation in March 2010 and ordered he serve the balance of his sentence.

In 2010 and 2011, Bennett was disciplined five times for failing to report and for possession of contraband, and when his probation was revoked in March 2010, he was sent to the Morgan County Correctional Complex and later transferred to the South Central Correctional Facility. Later he served part of his sentence in Hardaman County, where he stayed until he was paroled in March of this year.

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