ATLANTA — The state Court of Appeals on Tuesday, Aug. 24, affirmed the September 2019 conviction of Terrell Bennett on charges of Attempted Murder, Home Invasion in the First Degree, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony related to a 2018 shooting of his estranged wife in Newton County.
Bennett's sentence of Life in Prison plus five years is upheld.
The three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals unanimously rejected Bennett's claim that the evidence presented to the jury was insufficient.
Among other things, Bennett argued that because the weapon used was not recovered, he could not be convicted of the crimes. However, the Court of Appeals specifically pointed to the eyewitness testimony, bullets recovered from the scene and victim's body, and gunshot residue on Bennett's clothes for reasons why his claim had no merit.
The appeal was handled by Senior Assistant District Attorney Alex Stone.
Bennett was convicted of Attempted Murder, Home Invasion in the First Degree, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of a Firearm During a Felony on Sept. 11, 2019.
The defendant was scheduled to be in court March 20, 2018, on a temporary protective order (TPO) hearing with his wife from whom he was separated.
Bennett drove from Nashville Tennessee, that morning, stopping and buying bullets in Tennessee, then went to a Walmart in McDonough and purchased a crow bar, duct tape, and gloves.
Just before 5 a.m., Bennett sneaked into his wife's Newton County home on Hidden Branches Way and shot her numerous times while she was in her bed. Children, two of which were the defendant's, were home to hear the gunshots and witness the aftermath of the shooting. The victim was sent to Grady Medical Center in Atlanta where she recovered after numerous surgeries.
Two hours after the shooting, the defendant showed back up at the scene to attempt to take the children with him. Newton County sheriff's deputies detained the defendant and interviewed him. He denied committing the crimes but made numerous statements that implicated him in the crimes.
Further, deputies searched the defendant's vehicle and found the items he had purchased earlier in addition to dark clothing and a mask. The clothing was tested and showed the presence of gunshot residue.