Escape attempts foiled

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 31, 2005

MARION – A Perry County man awaiting trial on charges of double murder had a second escape attempt foiled by sheriff’s deputies last week.

Charlie Bennett, 22, was “caught in attempts to escape” from the Perry County Jail, a sheriff’s department spokesman said Friday. Details were scarce Friday night, and neither the Perry County Sheriff’s Department nor the District Attorney’s Office could be reached for comment.

Accused of the murders of Lawrence Alvin

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Smith and Kenneth Dixie, Bennett tried – and failed – to escape in July by sawing away at the bars of his cell with a hacksaw.

“We took a hacksaw from the jail that he had been working on one of the bars with,” Perry County Sheriff James Hood said of the July escape attempt. “Whenever he would get done, he was covering up where he had been sawing with Scotch tape.”

Bennett has found numerous ways to escape justice for his crimes, and not just the alleged killings of Smith and Dixie.

Convictions in 2003 for assault and armed robbery should have kept him incarcerated until August 2010.

But a mistake by corrections officials let him walk out of prison nearly six years early.

Smith and Dixie were killed just a month later.

Bennett’s July 11 trial date was postponed so he could undergo psychiatric evaluations. His trial should begin in December.