Man convicted of shooting estranged wife as she slept

Terrell Bennett

Credit: Newton County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Newton County Sheriff's Office

Terrell Bennett

A man who drove from Tennessee to Newton County and shot his estranged wife as she slept was convicted this week of attempted murder.

Terrell Bennett, 46, was scheduled to be appear in court in March 2018 for a temporary protection order hearing after he and his wife separated.

Instead, prosecutors said the man left his Tennessee home in the middle of the night, stopping twice to buy bullets, a crowbar, duct tape and gloves. He then sneaked into his wife’s bedroom before 5 a.m. and shot her several times while their children were home, the Newton County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

The children heard the gunshots and witnessed the aftermath of their mother’s shooting, authorities said.

Two hours later, Bennett showed up at the home again to pick up his children, prosecutors said. Police interviewed him at the scene, but Bennett denied shooting his wife.

Detectives found inconsistencies in the man’s story that implicated him in the crime, and a search of his vehicle revealed several of the items he purchased earlier that day, dark clothing and a mask. Bennett was arrested after his clothes tested positive for the presence of gunshot residue, police said.

Bennett’s wife recovered from her injuries after undergoing multiple surgeries, but he was convicted Wednesday of attempted murder, home invasion, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in connection with the shooting.

Bennett remains held at the Newton County jail while he  awaits his sentencing hearing, authorities said.

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