A Denison man learned Wednesday that he could spend up to the next 40 years in prison for shooting a man in the head over a drug debt and drug possession charges.
A statement from the Grayson County District Attorney’s Office said Christopher Bennett, 35, of Denison pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine on December 19. Bennett accepted a plea agreement with the Grayson County Criminal District Attorney’s Office which allowed the Court to set punishment on both offenses to not more than 40 years in prison. Wednesday, Judge Jim Fallon of the 15th District Court heard evidence and sentenced Bennett to the maximum sentence of 40 years.
On September 17, 2019, Denison police responded to a call of shots fired and discovered an individual had been shot in the head. Detective John Watt quickly ascertained the identity of the shooter as Bennett and obtained a warrant for his arrest. Ultimately, the investigation uncovered that Bennett shot another man over an outstanding drug debt of approximately $100 dollars. The victim was transported to TMC with non-life threating injuries; although a bullet from Bennett’s gun had struck him in the head, it exited the victim’s skin without penetrating his skull.
Two days later, near the Sherman Public Library, Sherman officers stopped a vehicle in which Bennett was a passenger. Bennett was arrested for his outstanding felony warrant and a subsequent search of the vehicle revealed several grams of methamphetamine, multiple baggies, and a scale.
Evidence presented at the punishment hearing showed Bennett had been previously sentenced to prison for an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon conviction in 2012.
“Investigator Watt and both the Denison and Sherman police departments’ swift action took this offender off the street quickly,” said Assistant District Attorney Nathan Young. He added that, “everyone – including the defendant – was incredibly fortunate that the victim escaped relatively unscathed and that this was not a murder case.” District Attorney Brett Smith added, “Mr. Bennett will be required to serve, at a minimum, the next 20 years in prison, because the crime involved the use of a firearm. The removal of this defendant from our community can only increase public safety.”