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Unusual Plea in Homicide Case

MONTROSE — Brett Bennett had no comment as he walked up to the second floor of the Susquehanna County Courthouse. The man from Kingsley is charged with homicide by vehicle, while driving under the influence just more than one year ago.

It was along this stretch of Route 11 in New Milford where Troopers said Bennett hit two pedestrians, Brian Thomas and Edward Turner after leaving a bar.

Bennett is now admitting to two counts of involuntary manslaughter, but is not admitting he was under the influence.

“What he was unwilling to enter a plea to would be the DUI count and we did agree to bifurcate, or sever those counts and move forward with a trial on the DUI counts themselves,” said Susquehanna County District Attorney Jason Legg.

Bennett entered his plea at the Susquehanna County Courthouse in Montrose, and now faces a trial for his DUI charges, that a judge will decide.

“It`s the first time we`ve done it, and I`ve been doing this for 14 years, so it is an unusual type of plea. It`s also a little bit of an unusual type of circumstance in the sense of the facts of the case,” said Legg.

Back in 2012, Bennett told witnesses that he couldn’t stop quick enough and his life was over.

Prosecutors said the fact that the two victims were in the road when Bennett hit them makes the case a bit challenging.

“We kind of had to weigh those factors and try to come up with something that i hope is not only a unique solution, but also one that achieves justice,” said Legg.

Bennett is scheduled to be back in court later this month for the DUI Judge Trial and will be sentenced shortly after.


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