UPDATE: Man charged in quadruple murder makes court appearance

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email
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The courtroom in Parsons where David Bennett is expected to make his first appearance.

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PARSONS, Kan. -- The man accused of killing a Kansas woman and her three children was in court for a brief hearing Wednesday afternoon.

On Tuesday, the Kansas Attorney General's Office has announced that formal charges have been filed in the murders of 29-year-old Cami Jo Umbarger of Parsons, and her three children.

David Cornell Bennett, Jr., 22, of Cherryvale is charged with capital murder, rape and criminal threat. Bennett appeared in court this afternoon in Oswego.

During the brief hearing, Bennett acknowledged the charges against him and the possible consequences.

The judge then set a status hearing for January 17.

He is still being held in the Labette County Jail on a $5 million bond. The Kansas Attorney General's Office took over prosecution of the case at the request of the Labette County Attorney.

Kansas law allows the death penalty for multiple, premeditated murders arising from a single series of events or scheme.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The man accused of murdering a mother and her three children appeared in a Parsons courtroom via video Monday morning.

David Cornell Bennett, Jr., 22, of Cherryvale is suspected of murdering 29-year-old Cami Umbarger and her three children last Tuesday in Parsons. He was arrested that night in Independence, Kansas.

Bennett asked the judge numerous questions Monday morning and at one point began trying to defend himself before the judge advised him to stop.

"I guess there was just a big ol' confusion, I don't know how it has to do with this whole case but if I'm accused of doing something ..." Bennett said.

Labette County District judge Robert Fleming then interjected, "I don't know where you are going with this but this probably isn't the time to get into that."

Bennett asked if and when that time would come.

"So will I have the chance to present my case and so forth and have a fair thing like everyone else?" Bennett asked.

Bennett asked twice during the proceedings if he had to stay in jail. The judge answered both times by saying that Bennett's bond was set at $5 million dollars.

The judge reminded Bennett that he found probable cause to hold him on four counts of murder, as formal charges are still pending.

The Kansas Attorney General's Office is prosecuting the case. The AG's office released a statement late last week saying they will evaluate all evidence before making charging decisions in connection to their deaths.

They had asked for more time to file charges because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

As a result, Bennett's official first appearance will be in-person in Oswego, scheduled for early next week.

He has applied for a court-appointed attorney.

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