Updated: Woman severely beaten with baseball bat; boyfriend now in custody


David Bennett

An East Newnan community woman was severely beaten Tuesday morning with a baseball bat, and the suspect — her boyfriend — was captured hours later in Atlanta, said law enforcement officials.
Coweta County authorities issued a warrant for aggravated assault against the suspect, David Bennett, 48, and were actively searching for him Tuesday afternoon, said Major Jimmy Yarbrough with the Coweta County Sheriff's Office.  
Investigators tracked his cell phone to a neighborhood on Burroughs Road and then located his vehicle parked at a residence, the major said. Several units with the county's Crime Suppression Unit and the Atlanta Police Department were involved in the arrest. The Atlanta residence was believed to belong to a relative of Bennett's.
"He still had bloody clothing on from the incident," Yarbrough said, adding Bennett was arrested without incident. "He was pretty well outnumbered."
The attack occurred at 7 East Marjorie St., a residence Bennett shared with the victim, Nicole Lee Hernane, 32, the major said. After the beating, Bennett fled the residence in the East Newnan neighborhood and called a neighbor to call for an ambulance.
Hernane was airflighted to Atlanta Medical Center in very critical condition, Yarbrough said.
"It does not look very good ... her skull is fractured," Yarbrough said. "She was hit in the head, shoulder, ribs, just about everywhere."
Hernane's family was notified, and she was on life support at the hospital, the major said. 
Bennett already had outstanding warrants for two sales of marijuana, according to authorities. He fled in a 2001 two-door blue Oldsmobile Alero with license tag AHY2571, which was found at the Atlanta residence. 
Authorities were called to the East Newnan residence at 8:42 a.m. through Coweta 911.

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