It’s a tragedy, but I don’t think this case should be going to trial
Opening Statements Set for Stephanie Bennett Civil Case
Posted: Jan. 15 10:13 p.m.
Updated: Today at 9:27 a.m.
Raleigh — Opening statements in the civil suit surrounding the rape and slaying of a Raleigh woman are scheduled to begin Tuesday. Carmon Bennett is suing the owners of Bridgeport Apartments, where his daughter, Stephanie Bennett, lived at the time of her death in May 2002. He maintains in the lawsuit that the complex failed to protect his daughter from her killer, alleging that her apartment window failed to lock, that shrubbery around the building was too high and that there was inadequate lighting. Attorneys for the apartment complex have argued that there was nothing that their client could have done to prevent Bennett’s death. Drew Planten, the only suspect in the case, was charged with first-degree murder after a three-year investigation. He committed suicide in prison in January 2006 while awaiting trial. A prowler later identified as Planten had been seen near the apartment prior to Stephanie Bennett’s death, and Bennett’s attorneys said the apartment complex was aware of that.