NM inmate charged with attempted murder after stabbing CO

The officer was treated at a local hospital for multiple stab wounds


By Justin Garcia
Las Cruces Sun-News, N.M.
        
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The Third Judicial District Attorney's Office filed an attempted first-degree murder charge against a Doña Ana County Detention Center inmate on Wednesday.

Police accused Eugene Bennett, 28, of stabbing a corrections officer with a makeshift knife — or shank — last week.

The CO was hospitalized in El Paso after the attack.

Eugene Bennett said that the stabbing
Eugene Bennett said that the stabbing "needed to happen" because he feared the COs were going to kill him. (Doña Ana County Detention Center)

Bennett was charged in 2019 with shooting at a dwelling, aggravated assault and property damage. He was later found with methamphetamine in his cell at the detention center, according to police. Police said he also hit another inmate with a broomstick.

According to court filings, Bennett attacked the officer as medication was being doled out to inmates. A nurse, who was providing the medications, told police that Bennett is usually a very talkative person. But on the day of the stabbing, she told police Bennett was unusually quiet.

Video of the incident, as described in the criminal complaint, shows Bennett turning away from the officer, pulling something out of his pocket then lunging at the officer, knocking him to the floor.

Police say Bennett later told them that he feared the COs were going to kill him. He said that the stabbing "needed to happen" and that he could hear the officers laughing and joking about him through the vents of the building.

Bennett said he'd "written several people about the two-way mirror, how he was losing his mind and wanting to kill people," police said.

As for the weapon, Bennett allegedly said he found it in his cell a few days before the stabbing. He said the shank was wrapped in a torn Bible page.

When police asked Bennett if he felt bad about the stabbing, he said, "I don't feel bad about it," and accused the officer of terrorism.

Bennett was scheduled for a pretrial detention hearing on June 29. The hearing was originally scheduled for Friday, but the defense requested a continuance.

The CO was released from the hospital, according to Doña Ana County officials.
     
(c)2021 the Las Cruces Sun-News (Las Cruces, N.M.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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