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Homicide trial for Superior man on hold for competency evaluation

Superior man accused of stabbing mother seeks to enter insanity plea.

Douglas County, Wis., Courtroom
Douglas County Circuit Court, Superior, Wisconsin. Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

A January homicide trial has been pulled from the Douglas County Circuit Court calendar to allow time for the man accused of the crime to be evaluated for competency.

Robert Lee Bennett III, 41, faces one count of first-degree intentional homicide in the fatal stabbing death of his mother.

Superior police were called to 49 Norwood Ave. at 6:55 a.m. Sept. 29, 2020, for a report of a stabbing. The victim, identified by police as Cindy Bennett, was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy indicated she suffered stab wounds to her arm, back, neck, face and head from a knife and a metal cooking probe.

The jury trial for Bennett had been slated to begin Jan. 10 before Douglas County Circuit Court Judge Kelly Thimm. During a motion hearing Oct. 20, Bennett’s defense attorney Ellen Craker informed the court that he would be pleading not guilty by reason of insanity, according to online court records.

Bennett was transported to Sauk County at the end of November to meet with an expert for an evaluation. That doctor raised issues of competency, and during a Dec. 10 hearing, the trial was removed from the calendar to allow time for a competency evaluation.

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Robert Lee Bennett
Robert Lee Bennett

If convicted, Bennett faces life imprisonment. The Superior man remains in custody at the Douglas County Jail. Bail in the case has been set at $1 million.

His next court appearance, a scheduling conference, has been set for Jan. 10.

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