A Superior man accused of killing his mother had cash bail set at $1 million in Douglas County Court on Thursday, Oct. 1.
Robert Lee Bennett III, 39, faces one count of first-degree intentional homicide. As a condition of his bail, Bennett was ordered to have no possession of dangerous weapons, no contact with the address where the incident occurred and no contact with 14 family members.
Although Bennett’s criminal history is minimal — a 2005 conviction for credit card fraud and a 2007 conviction for theft — Court Commissioner Rebecca Lovejoy said the nature of the charges warranted the $1 million cash bail. First-degree intentional homicide is the most serious charge in Wisconsin and carries a penalty of lifetime imprisonment.
Superior police were called to 49 Norwood Ave. at 6:55 a.m. Tuesday for a report of a stabbing. The victim, identified by police as Cindy Bennett, was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy performed Wednesday indicated she suffered stab wounds to her arm, back, neck, face and head from a knife and a metal cooking probe.
According to the complaint, Bennett, who also lived at 49 Norwood Ave., made a 911 call earlier in the morning at 5:07 a.m., but could not explain to officers why he did so.
When questioned after the incident by Superior Police Detective Sean Holmgren, Bennett admitted to stabbing his mother, the criminal complaint said. He told police she had been acting “un-normal” and wanted to take him to the hospital, which he did not like. He reportedly told Holmgren that he threw his mother to the ground after she pointed a needle at him.
“She tried to get me, so I stabbed her,” Bennett said, according to the criminal complaint.
This is the first homicide in Douglas County since the 2017 shooting death of Kyle Androsky on New Year’s Day. No one was ever convicted of that crime.
District Attorney Mark Fruehauf said he visited the scene of the stabbing Tuesday while officers were investigating. It’s the same thing he did when the Androsky shooting occurred.
“I think it is important for the prosecutor to see those things in person; pictures and videos cannot always do them justice," he said. "When trial comes around, I have an advantage having seen things personally.”
A preliminary hearing for Bennett was set for Oct. 7, with a status conference two days prior to check if he had an attorney.