In federal court, the 20-year-old Bennett is to go to trial on Nov. 27 on a charge of assault resulting in substantial bodily injury to a child younger than 16, a five-year felony. On the state level, Bennett is scheduled to face a trial in Bay County Circuit Court on the same day on two counts each of assaulting a prison employee and assaulting, resisting or obstructing police and one count of malicious destruction of property between $200 and $1,000.
“I would imagine the federal case would proceed first,” said Bay County Prosecutor Kurt C. Asbury.
Federal prosecutors allege Bennett in May and June choked, punched and dragged Carnel, the son of Bennett’s 21-year-old girlfriend, Jaimee Chamberlain. Bennett was living with the mother and son at the time.
Authorities have also said Bennett was baby-sitting Carnel when the boy disappeared on June 22. After a week of searching, authorities on June 28 discovered charred remains of a child beneath the porch of the Bennett-Chamberlain home in Mount Pleasant.
The FBI is handling the investigation into Carnel’s disappearance and has not confirmed the recovered remains are the boy’s. The Chamberlain family has said the body was Carnel’s, however.
While housed at the Bay County Jail, Bennett on the morning of Aug. 24 was reportedly arguing with another inmate. When a corrections officer attempted to quell the dispute, Bennett swung around and punched him three times, court records show.
The other inmate came to the officer’s aid in pulling Bennett away. When the officer regained his footing, he locked Bennett in a cell, but the unruly inmate then proceeded to kick a glass window, court records show.
An extraction team was called in to remove Bennett from the cell and place him in a different part of the jail. When they opened the cell door, Bennett had fresh superficial cuts on his arms, though no weapon was recovered, court records show.
U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington is to preside over Bennett’s federal trial, while Circuit Judge Joseph K. Sheeran is to preside over his local trial.