Parsons quad murder suspect questions bond

Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:40:25 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 04 2013 06:12:53 PM CST
OSWEGO, Kan. -

A man arrested for a quadruple homicide has acknowledged official charges in court, one day after the state filed a capital murder charge.

David Bennett Jr., appeared in court with his attorney in Oswego Wednesday afternoon. Ron Evans, defense attorney, was appointed through the Death Penalty Defense Unit.

The Kansas Attorney General's Office charged Bennett with capital murder for the deaths of Cami Jo Umbarger, 29, Parsons, and her three young children Hollie Betts, Jaxon Betts, and Averie Betts. As an alternative to the capital murder charge, Schmidt filed four counts of first-degree premeditated murder.

Bennett also faces charges of rape and criminal threat.

The Death Penalty Defense Unit appointed an attorney to represent Bennett because if convicted, the highest punishment possible is lethal injection.

Escorted by the Labette County Sheriff, Bennett walked into the courtroom for the first time Wednesday for a formal explanation of the consequences he faces if convicted.

The judge reminded Bennett of the conditions of his $5 million bond. "If you're able to make bond it would be subject to a waiver of extradition and to court service bond supervision," said Labette County District Judge Robert Fleming.

The judge also told Bennett if he were to make bond, which would mean paying a minimum of $500,000, he would not be allowed contact with any of the victim's family members. "With like the bond thing or whatever, so if I had supervision I would have to check in and all that stuff basically," Bennett asked Judge Fleming.

The judge continued with the hearing by reading the charges against Bennett. During the description of each charge, Bennett shook his head and whispered to his defense attorney.

Investigators have not said how Umbarger and her three children died.

As with any capital murder case, Bennett faces life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.

Bennett is scheduled to be back in court January 17 at 1 p.m. for a status conference. At that time, attorneys will set a preliminary hearing date.