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  1. #16
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    Prosecution rests case in slaying trial

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburb...302-story.html

    Keith Crawford called Gary Bennett 14 times and sent him 11 text messages in the hours before his disappearance.

    Crawford's flurry of phone activity on Aug. 9 and the early morning hours of Aug. 10, 2014, stood in contrast to a seemingly abrupt end after he sent two final texts from an area near Spring Hill Mall. Phone record experts on Thursday said Crawford's phone after combining to initiate 215 calls and texts between Aug. 8 and 2:19 a.m. Aug. 10 never made another outgoing call or message.

    "There's no activity on that phone," said Steven Prosser, a U.S. Marshals inspector. "That phone appears to stop (moving) somewhere near the highway, (Interstate) 90."

    Prosecutors used a trail of phone records to close out their case against Bennett in the 2014 slaying of Crawford, of Bartlett.

  2. #17
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    Defense suggests others involved in Crawford's disappearance

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburb...303-story.html

    When Bartlett police began looking for Keith Crawford after he was reported missing in August 2014, they had his cellphone provider "ping" the phone to find a location.

    That phone pinged back twice on Aug. 14 four days after he was reported missing and, according to prosecutors, four days after he was killed.

    The defense attorney for Gary Bennett accused of shooting Crawford, a Bartlett resident, in the head and dumping the body in an Elgin dumpster over a drug debt, according to court records used the information about the pings to draw the jury's attention to another possible suspect in Crawford's disappearance.
    Defense attorney Stephen Richards also worked to tie another man to Crawford's disappearance. Chance Cager, of Hanover Park, was interviewed during the search for Crawford. He told police initially that he and another man followed Crawford from a Hanover Park gas station to the large house party off Route 31 in an unincorporated area near West Dundee.

    Later, Cager told police he drove with Crawford to the party but that he lost the other man and ended up getting a ride home later from a Carpentersville-area friend.

    Crawford, Cager told police, told him he had to leave the party at some point to "take care of some businesses."

  3. #18
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    Defense rests in Bennett trial, deliberations set to begin Tuesday

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburb...306-story.html

    Kane County Judge John Barsanti sent the jury home early on Monday after the 12 jurors and four alternates heard just 20 minutes of testimony in Gary Bennett's murder trial.

    The jurors including four alternates are expected back in court at 9 a.m. Tuesday to hear closing arguments before they begin deliberations on the case.

    Monday's proceedings were delayed nearly two hours as Bennett's attorney, Stephen Richards, first hoped some of the people he'd subpoenaed to testify would arrive. With those people not at the Kane County Judicial Center, prosecutors agreed to stipulate to what those people's testimony would have included.

  4. #19
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    Bennett found guilty of murder, concealment of homicide

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburb...307-story.html

    Gary Bennett was found guilty of first degree murder and concealment of a homicide, but not guilty on two charges of armed robbery in the Aug. 10, 2014, death of Keith Crawford.

    A Kane County jury deliberated for under three hours before announcing the verdict.

    Bennett, 38, showed no emotion as the verdict was read, other than leaning back in his seat at one point.

    Kane County Judge John Barsanti set an April 20 date for post-trial motions. Bennett's sentencing hearing will be set at that time, Barsanti said.

    He could face life in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

  5. #20
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    Key witness in Gary Bennett's murder trial sentenced

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburb...406-story.html

    Joan Sebastian Vado-Bonilla's testimony proved to be a key part of the prosecution's case at Gary Bennett's recent murder trial.

    On Friday, Vado-Bonilla officially pleaded guilty to concealment of a homicidal death and received 30 months of probation to finalize the agreement he made with prosecutors in December 2015 in exchange for his testimony. He was also sentenced to 180 days in Kane County Jail, but he was given day-for-day credit for time served, according to court records.
    Jurors needed less than three hours to convict Bennett, 38, who was living in Colorado at the time of his 2015 arrest. He is scheduled to return to court April 20 when his sentencing date is expected to be set.

  6. #21
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    Judge rejects Bennett's motion for new trial

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburb...426-story.html

    Gary Bennett's push for a new trial fell short recently when Judge John Barsanti rejected a motion claiming numerous errors handling of jury instructions, admission of certain evidence which ultimately led jurors to a murder conviction, court records show.

    Bennett, 38, now heads toward a July sentencing hearing at which he faces a minimum of 45 years in prison for fatally shooting Keith Crawford in July 2014. Jurors needed about three hours to find Bennett guilty of the murder, which prosecutors said stemmed from a drug debt Bennett owed Crawford.

  7. #22
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    Denver man gets 50 years for murder of Bartlett man over drug debt

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburb...713-story.html

    Circuit Judge John A. Barsanti on Thursday sentenced Gary M. Bennett, 39, of the 8500 block of East Alameda Avenue, Denver, Colo. and formerly of Millbrook Court in Algonquin, to 50 years' imprisonment in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

    .......

    "Mr. Bennett chose greed over Keith Crawford's life. His violence was fueled by his frequent drug use, his ego and his complete lack of respect for human life. Those misplaced priorities mean he most likely will die in prison. I hope Keith Crawford's family feels a sense of justice in this sentence," Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said.

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