Uniontown man charged with murder

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 27, 2004

UNIONTOWN – Uniontown resident Charlie Bennett has been charged with

capital murder in connection to the shooting deaths of two men whose

bodies were discovered June 19 in a Perry County soybean field.

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The Alabama Bureau of Investigation, along with Perry County Sheriff’s

Department and Uniontown police, apprehended Bennett sometime late

Thursday night or early Friday morning.

Formal warrants were issued Friday.

According to Fourth Judicial Circuit District Attorney Ed Greene,

Bennett was charged with capital murder for two murders committed during a robbery and for the murder of two or more persons in a single crime. The murders during robbery and of more than two in single crime are elements of capital murder.

“The officers worked on this case all night long last night,” Greene

said Friday. “This was a shocking thing for the community of Uniontown.”

Local farmer Tom Belcher found the bodies of Lawrence Alvin Smith, 25, and Kenneth Dixie, 37, in his soybean field on County Road 53, less

than a mile from the county line.

Belcher told police he went to check on his crops shortly before 5 p.m. on June 19 and noticed a car in the field.

Both bodies were inside the car at the edge of the field near the road.

It appeared the men died of gun shot wounds to their heads.

During their preliminary investigation, police where hesitant to say the case was a homicide until the Alabama Department of Forensics Sciences could determine a cause of death. However, Uniontown officials called in the ABI to help in the investigation soon after the bodies were found.

“My hats are off to the law enforcement officers involved in this

case,” Greene said. “They worked together in a timely manner to solve this crime and made an excellent arrest.”

Bennett was taken to the Hale County Jail, Greene said, where he is currently being held without bond. The suspect is set to appear before the magistrate Monday morning.

“I doubt he’ll be given bond,” Greene said. “He has a substantial criminal record.”

Apparently, the case against Bennett is substantial as well.

Greene said law enforcement “seem to have a very solid case,” but would

not comment on details of the investigation.

“They’ve done some good work on it,” he said.

If Bennett is found guilty of the charges when the case goes to trial,

he could receive either the death penalty or life in prison without parole, Greene said.

“From my point as a prosecutor, it’s a very strong case,” he said.

-Demopolis Times Editor Clif Lusk contributed to this report.