KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A previously convicted felon has been sentenced to 20 years after he was convicted of brandishing a handgun and threatening to shoot a woman in 2021, according to the Knox County District Attorney General‘s office.
A release from the DA’s office on Friday said Demetruice Sentell Bennett, 34, was sentenced to 20 years in the Tennessee Department of Correction without the possibility of parole after he was convicted of unlawful possession of a weapon, assault, and evading arrest.
Bennett was convicted in August 2023 after a two-day trial. During that trial, prosecutors told the jury that multiple callers reported that Bennett brandished a handgun toward women and children near the intersection of McConnell Street and Lee Williams Avenue, the release says.
According to the DA’s office, Knoxville police officers responded to the scene and found the victim who said Bennett was walking around, holding a handgun with an extended magazine, and when asked why he pulled the gun out, Bennett began arguing and threatened to shoot them. The release continued to say that officers located Bennett two days later when they saw him run out of his grandmother’s house and he was arrested after a foot pursuit.
The DA’s office said Bennett is a member of the Vice Lords criminal gang and is serving a 10 year sentence in prison for a prior robbery conviction. He also has prior convictions for selling cocaine, selling marijuana, and unlawfully processing a handgun, the release said.
“We pursue gun cases against gang offenders and convicted felons in the hope that
aggressive prosecution may help prevent violent crimes from being committed by these
armed criminals in the future,” said DA Charme Allen.