22-year-old Kansas man charged with murder, rape, in deaths of mother and 3 children
On Tuesday, a 22-year-old man was charged with capital murder in the deaths of a southeast Kansas mother and her 3 children. In a court filing, the state attorney general’s office said that authorities have proof of domestic violence.
David Cornell Bennett Jr. was also charged with rape and criminal threat by the Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office. Four counts of first-degree murder in Labette County District Court were filed by the Schmidt’s office as an alternative to the capital murder charge.
Bennett is summoned to court on Wednesday afternoon in Oswego. He is in jail and is being held on $5 million bond in the deaths of 29-year-old Cami Umbarger and her 3 children. One was 9-year-old Hollie Betts, second was 6-year-old Jaxon Betts and the third was 4-year-old Averie Betts.
On 25th of November, dead bodies of the 4 victims were found in their home in Parsons, about 90 miles northeast of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Bennett was taken into custody and jailed the next day for murder.
Shane Adamson, Bennett’s lawyer, declined to comment.
Authorities have declined to tell exactly how the 4 were killed but a complaint signed by Schmidt and an assistant attorney general said they died between 23rd of November and 25th of November. The complaint also accused Bennett of raping Umbarger and threatening her once in September and October.
In the capital murder count, the attorney general’s complaint said, “There is evidence this offense is a domestic violence offense.”
Last week, a cousin told The Associated Press that Umbarger met Bennett in September and went out with him many times. He also told that Umbarger tried to break off the relationship, but Bennett “wouldn’t leave her alone”.
On 26th of November, Bennett was taken into custody at gunpoint about 35 miles southwest of Parsons, where he worked a roofing job.
Kansas law permits a defendant to be charged with a single count of capital murder for multiple killings that are premeditated and occur “as part of the same transaction” or are linked with “a common scheme or course of conduct”. Killing a victim during or following a rape can also be charged as a capital crime.
If the state decides the death penalty, juries can suggest either death by lethal injection or life in jail with no parole.
Schmidt’s office filed charges against Bennett as Topeka police were investigating what they explained as the city’s first quadruple homicide case.
News Source: www.StartRibune.com