Funeral burglar sentenced to 27 years
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Michael Bennett has been coined the "funeral burglar" after breaking into the homes of grieving families as they attended memorial services for loved ones. Tuesday some of his victims gathered at the Judicial Center as a judge sentenced the 34-year-old to his fate.
"We forgive him," said Laura Coleman, who said her parents' home had been burglarized by Bennett. "I mean, you witnessed a guy that broke into my parents' house during my father's funeral and took all kinds of jewelry."
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Coleman said that's not all Bennett took from her parents' home as they bid a final farewell to her father Don Carr on August 17, 2013.
"Neighbors watched him walk in," said Coleman. "He took my father's gun. That's the reason he's really being indicted, is because he actually was holding my father's gun when he was found and arrested."
Tuesday, Circuit Court Division 7 Judge Audra Eckerle sentenced Bennett to a total of 27 years in prison, 17 of which garnered for his home break-in spree. Bennett had previously pleaded guilty to five counts of Burglary I, 15 counts of Burglary II, one count of possession of burglary tools and one count of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.
"In accordance with your plea agreement, that is a 17-year sentence to serve," said Judge Eckerle. "I understand you have ten more years in other division actions and so that'll be a total of 27 years to serve."
"He's very creative," said Coleman. "He knows what he's doing. He had doggie treats for dogs.He was a smart man."
Bennett did indeed prove to be a man with a plan. According to police, Bennett would use obituaries posted in newspapers to plan his home break-ins. He would then use White Pages and Google Maps to pinpoint his victims' addresses.
"As far as we understand, he's done this 36 times," said Coleman.
Despite being one of what Coleman said are dozens of Bennett's victims, she offered her family's forgiveness.
"I pray that while he's gone and put away that he finds Jesus," said Coleman
Bennett will receive credit for 425 days time served toward his 17 year portion of his dual sentence.
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