Attempted murder suspect’s trial Tuesday

by Wes Mayer

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David Bennett

The trial of a man accused of nearly beating his girlfriend to death with two different baseball bats is set to begin Tuesday.

David Bennett, 49, was indicted in December on charges of criminal attempt to commit murder, kidnapping, five counts of aggravated assault, terroristic threats and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Robert Mooradian, and Bennett will be defended by Public Defender Ricardo Samper. Coweta County Superior Court Judge Emory Palmer will preside over the trial.

Bennett was arrested in February, 2013 after he allegedly beat up his girlfriend, Nicole Hernane, using two baseball bats. Hernane suffered injuries over her entire body, and multiple bones were broken, including both arms, two fingers, a shattered elbow and wrist and a broken nose. Her face and skull was severely beaten as well, and she said in an earlier interview that she does not remember anything from the assault.

According to authorities, Hernane was airlifted by helicopter to the Atlanta Medical Center, and she was placed in intensive care. After a few extensive surgeries, including facial reconstruction, brain surgery and operations to both arms - shattered bones had to be removed from her wrist and elbow and replaced with metal plates and rods - she was released from the hospital. Doctors and authorities said it was a miracle she survived.

A warrant was placed for Bennett’s arrest, and he was found a few hours after the assault by authorities in Atlanta who were able to pinpoint his cell phone. According to authorities, Bennett was still wearing bloody clothing when he was arrested. Bennett also had outstanding warrants for selling narcotics at the time of his arrest, and he was also indicted for those charges in December.

According to Mooradian, jury selection for the trial is set to begin Tuesday morning, and the opening statements may begin after lunchtime. Although Bennett was also indicted for selling narcotics, he is not set to be tried on those charges this week.



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