Bennett accepts plea deal ending Stephens murder trial - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Bennett accepts plea deal ending Stephens murder trial

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PINCKNEYVILLE -- The final suspect in the 2010 murder of Pinckneyville teenager Sidnee Stephens appeared in Perry County court Tuesday and walked away charged with Home Invasion by Accountability.

After waiving the statute of limitation in the case, Chad Bennett pleaded guilty to the charge as part of a plea deal that dropped five murder related charges: four counts of First Degree Murder (Accountability) and one count of Concealment of Homicidal Death (Accountability).

Bennett now faces 6-30 years in prison for the Class X felony. However, Judge Dennis Doyle said Bennett will be eligible for a day-for-sentence, meaning he could be out in half the time sentenced. 

Eight years ago, in July 2010, the body of 15-year-old Sidnee Stephens was found in the Beaucoup Creek south of Pinckneyville shot, strangled and tied down with a concrete block.

In a matter of days four others along with Bennett were arrested in connection to the murder: Carl Dane, Dakota Wall, James Glazier, and Robbie Mueller.

Stephens' half sister, Dakota Wall, allowed the others to enter the home and kidnap Stephens. 

Dane pleaded guilty in 2011 but was found dead in the Perry County Jail before being sentenced due to an apparent suicide.

The others received sentences in the case ranging from 26 to 60 years in prison.

Bennett, now 27, will return to court in a matter of weeks for a sentencing hearing.

But for now the heartbreaking case comes to an end 8 years later.

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