Member of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe Indicted on Murder Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 06, 2012|
Anthony Michael Bennett was indicted today by a federal grand jury in Bay City for the first-degree murder of a child on the Isabella Reservation, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.
McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Robert D. Foley, III of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The seven-count superseding indictment charges, among other things, that on June 21, 2012, Bennett, a member of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, committed the premeditated murder of a child identified only as C.C. Bennett is alleged to have killed the child during the perpetration of child abuse and as a part of a pattern or practice of assaults against a minor.
According to the superseding indictment, Bennett also committed additional assaults against C.C., assaulted another individual with a baseball bat, recklessly caused the death or disfigurement of an animal, and attempted to prevent others from communicating information related to the commission of a federal offense to law enforcement.
“We are committed to prosecuting violent crimes against vulnerable victims wherever they occur, including in tribal communities,” McQuade said. “This indictment is the result of extraordinary cooperation and diligence by federal, state, and tribal law enforcement agencies.”
Special Agent in Charge Robert Foley stated, “Violent crimes against children cannot be tolerated, and those who commit them will face severe consequences for these crimes. Together with tribal, state, and federal law enforcement partners, the FBI is committed to stopping these criminal acts.”
If convicted of first-degree murder, Bennett faces a mandatory term of life imprisonment.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Each defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case has been investigated by special agents of the FBI, officers of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police Department, the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department, and the Michigan State Police. The case is being prosecuted by the Bay City branch of the United States Attorney’s Office.