KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County prosecutors have secured a conviction against a gang member and felon who brandished a handgun in public and threatened a woman.
Demetruice Sentell Bennett, 34, was convicted of unlawful possession of a weapon, assault, and evading arrest. He faces between 12-20 years in prison at a September 21 sentencing.
Over a two-day trial, prosecutors explained to jurors that law enforcement received multiple calls on September 16, 2021, of a man brandishing a handgun toward women and children near the intersection of McConnell Street and Lee Williams Avenue.
Officers spoke to a victim at the scene who said Bennett was walking around the area holding a handgun with an extended magazine. When the victim asked Bennett why he pulled a gun out, Bennett threatened to shoot the victim.
He left the area before officers arrived. Bennett was arrested two days later when officers saw him run out of his grandmother’s house and attempt to evade officers on foot.
Bennett has prior convictions for selling cocaine, selling marijuana, and unlawfully possessing a handgun. He is currently serving a 10-year sentence in prison for a prior robbery conviction and has been identified as a member of the Vice Lords criminal gang, according to the Knox County District Attorney’s Office.
“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 District Attorney General Charme Allen.