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Days after life prison sentence, Bennett indicted, accused of trying to spread hepatitis
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DeMarvin Bennett sits in Hall County Superior Court Thursday, April 29, 2021, during the closing argument by attorney Matt Leipold. Bennett was charged in the February 2019 fatal shooting of businessman Jack Hough outside of a Gainesville pharmacy. - photo by Scott Rogers

Two days after a life prison sentence with the chance of parole, an East Point man was indicted in a separate Hall County case alleging he spat on an officer and bit a spit mask, according to court documents.

DeMarvin Ladele Bennett, 26, was charged in a May 5 indictment with reckless conduct and interference with government property.

Bennett was sentenced May 3 to life in prison for the February 2019 fatal shooting of Jack Hough outside of the Park Hill Drive CVS Pharmacy in Gainesville.

The new indictment alleges Bennett spat “after obtaining knowledge of being infected with hepatitis” and “did unlawfully commit an assault with the intent to transmit hepatitis” in June 2019.

A similar indictment was filed in May 2019, but the two indictments are two separate incidents.

According to the Hall County docket database, there are four open indictments against Bennett. 

Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh declined to comment on his plans for the remaining charges against Bennett in light of the lengthy prison sentence imposed.

An officer testified at Bennett’s sentencing about an Aug. 27 incident at the Hall County Jail when Bennett allegedly tried to throw him off of the top level of an inmate pod and get the deputy’s Taser.

In September, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office said Bennett had received 10 charges for alleged criminal behavior at the jail.

Defense attorney Matt Leipold, who represented Bennett during the trial alongside Larry Duttweiler, said he was unfamiliar with the newest indictment when contacted by The Times Monday, May 10. A plea of not guilty was entered in the previous indictment alleging spitting.

Grand jury sessions were delayed for most of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a backlog of more than 300 cases ready to be presented for indictment.

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