“Free Christopher Bennett” Rally held in Craigsville

Friends and family came out Saturday to raise awareness and bring attention to Christopher Bennett's case.
Published: Sep. 13, 2020 at 10:43 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -Family and friends of Christopher Bennett, a Craigsville native, came together to tell his story in hopes of having him released.

In 2003, Christopher Bennett broke in to Vincent McDorman’s house, eventually shooting him.

“He didn’t go there planning to shoot McDorman, he went there and he heard his baby sister’s cries. And he did what I would say probably 99.9% of us would’ve done,” Bennett’s Legal Advocate, Janet Lee, said.

Bennett’s sister, Victoria McDorman said Vincent had been molesting her and her siblings.

“I remember never wanting to get off the bus because it just meant it was going to start all over again,” Victoria said.

After Christopher was arrested for Vincent McDorman’s killling, he was given two options.

“It was going to be a death sentence or he could take a plea deal of 1,800 years. So, he took a plea deal of 1,800 years,” Victoria said.

Bennett was charged with three life sentences, one for the killing, one for robbery, and one for breaking and entering. The family said at the time in Virginia, a life sentence was 600 years.

Victoria said she and her siblings weren’t given the chance to tell the whole story.

“It was so quick to be determined that we weren’t being abused or molested and that his reasoning wasn’t correct, but they never spoke to us about it,” Victoria said.

So for the last 18 years, Bennett has been behind bars.

On September 12th, 2020, those fighting for Christopher came to the parking lot in Craigsville that the house stood on years ago.

“This place right here, this is where it happened and I look around and the only thing I see is that house and no way to escape it, even as an adult, there’s no way to escape it. And I don’t think anyone should feel that way,” Cassandra McDorman, Bennett’s sister, said.

His family wants to tell his story.

“He gave his life for us to have a chance to have this because there is no way we would’ve survived,” Victoria said.

They hope people will look into his case.

“He was wrong, but he’s done more than enough time for it because he was just a kid too, he was 18, and he was just trying to protect his family which we were all taught to do,” Victoria said.

“He’s my hero, he’s my best friend," Cassandra said. “I miss him, my kids know about him.”

“He saved us and now it’s kind of like our turn to save him,” Victoria said.

“We’re gonna keep going and we will, we will see Chris free,” Lee said.

There is a Facebook group “Free Christopher Bennett” with more information on Christopher’s story and a petition for his release that has over 60,000 signatures.

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