Indiana Daily Student

Woman who drove into Bloomington BLM protest scheduled for another pretrial conference

<p>The Monroe County Courthouse is located at 100 W. Kirkwood Ave. Representatives of the state prosecution and Christi Bennett’s defense will appear in a pretrial conference at 1:45 p.m. on April 27. Bennett allegedly drove her car into a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters on July 6.</p>

The Monroe County Courthouse is located at 100 W. Kirkwood Ave. Representatives of the state prosecution and Christi Bennett’s defense will appear in a pretrial conference at 1:45 p.m. on April 27. Bennett allegedly drove her car into a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters on July 6.

On July 6, Christi J. Bennett drove her car into a crowd of people protesting on Walnut Street. According to the Indiana Daily Student, Bennett drove for two blocks with two protesters on the hood of her car before turning, which flung the protesters from the vehicle. 

Representatives of the state prosecution and Bennett’s defense are scheduled to appear in a pretrial conference at 1:45 p.m. on April 27, according to court records. According to the Monroe County Circuit Court Rules and Procedures, the defendant is required to appear at all pretrial conferences unless they are excused by the court. However, Bennett was not present at a pretrial conference on Nov 9.

According to court records, Bennett, a 66-year-old women from Bloomington, has been charged with two counts of criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon and two charges of leaving the scene of an accident, one with bodily injury and one with moderate to serious bodily injury after driving her car into a crowd of protesters and carrying them from the intersection of Walnut Street and Fourth Street to the intersection of Walnut Street and Sixth Street on July 6. 

According to a previous Indiana Daily Student report, Bennett drove her car into a crowd of protesters who were demonstrating in response to the alleged attack of Vauhxx Booker who was physically and verbally attacked by men with confederate flags near Lake Monroe on Fourth of July this summer according to a previous report from the Indiana Daily Student. 

According to the IDS, one of the protesters, Geoff Stewart, suffered minimal injuries and did not require medical attention while the other protester, Chaz Mottinger, who was unresponsive at the scene, received a concussion.

Her initial hearing on July 17 was canceled after a waiver of initial appearance was filed and a pretrial conference was scheduled for Sep. 14, according to court records.

Pretrial conferences address information related to trial proceedings, according to Indiana Code 35-36-8-3. Conferences address information about witnesses, testimonial and physical evidence, motions, procedure, anticipated necessity of further discovery, and any proposed plea or sentencing agreement, according to Monroe Circuit Court Rules and Procedures.

Representatives from both Bennett’s defense and the state’s prosecuting team have appeared in four pretrial conferences since the first conference in September. On Nov. 9, 2020, Bennett’s defense filed a Motion and Order on Continuance, which waived Criminal Rule 4, which states a defendant cannot be held in jail on a charge without a trial for more than six months and can’t be held on or answer to criminal charges for over a year. The defense has waived it multiple times since then, according to court records.

As of March 25, no formal trial has been scheduled.

CORRECTION: A previous version of the caption misstated the dates of the pretrial conference and accident.

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