CROSSVILLE (WATE) – Attorneys are seeking the death penalty for the man arrested last month in the murders of four people found shot to death in a car in Renegade Mountain.
At a court hearing Thursday morning, district attorneys announced their intention to seek the death penalty for Jacob Allen Bennett, 26.
Bennett pleaded not guilty and requested a court-appointed attorney. He initially refused a court-appointed attorney at a hearing in September and wanted to plead guilty.
Bennett is charged with four counts of first degree murder, four counts of felony murder, and two counts of attempted armed robbery.
His girlfriend, Brittany Lina Yvonn Moser, 25, of Dayton, Tenn. was also indicted on the felony murder and attempted armed robbery charges. The state is not seeking the death penalty for Moser.
Both suspects are being held in the Cumberland County Jail without bond.
The victims, Rikki Jacobsen, Steven Presley, Domonic Davis and John Lajeunesse, were found shot to death last week in a car in Renegade Mountain.
“I think he shouldn’t have been able to plead not guilty after he wanted to plead guilty,” said Steven Presley, Sr., the father of one of the victims. “I wish the Lord would take him in his sleep before morning. I just want him dead.”
Steven’s mother said the community continues to grieve together.
“It’s the worst thing that could happen to anybody. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I wouldn’t let this happen to anybody else,” Angela Presley said.
Friends of the young victims were in court to honor those lost and support their families as they try to heal themselves.
“Steven will never be forgotten in our hearts,” said his friend Cody Hicks.
Loved ones of John Lajeunesse wore tie-dyed T-shirts and ribbons in his memory.
“That was his thing. It’s expressing his personality. He was really bright. Everyone loved him,” said friend Ryan Fountain.
The next court date for Bennett and Moser is set for November 18.