Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
*Two co-defendants face trial in June 2008
Stephen Bennett, 36, Bernard Smith, 43, both of Vista, San Diego, are also charged with felonies for murder, murder during the commission of another felony, second degree robbery, and the transportation of a controlled substance. Bennett and Smith are also charged with the possession of a firearm by a felon. Smith faces a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death. Bennett is charged as a third striker with two 1992 robbery conviction priors. If convicted, they face a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Bennett and Smith are scheduled for trial on June 23, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-30.
On February 5, 2006, Turner, Bennett, and Smith are accused of devising a plan to rob a drug dealer in order to steal money and drugs. Bennett is accused of calling a suspected drug dealer, Brian Gray, and setting up a meeting under the pretense of purchasing drugs. The defendants are accused of driving from Vista to the
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting the case.