JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Rodney Bennett, 61, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 years Tuesday for the kidnapping and shooting of his ex-wife, Marie Bennett.
On July 27, 2020, Marie Bennett survived being kidnapped, shot in the head twice, and a car crash — all she and others thought she wouldn’t.
Marie said she remembers everything from that day. She said Rodney bound her head, mouth, and arms with tape and forced her into a car.
“He stopped and he grabbed my phone,” Marie Bennett said. “He went to wipe the fingerprints off of it and then he threw it out the window. And I’m like, ‘I don’t know why you’re doing that. Everybody’s going to know this is you.’ And he’s like, ‘No, they won’t. They’re never going to find your body.'”
While in the car, he shot her three times, missing once. One bullet is still in her head.
“And I said, ‘You’ve killed me,'” Marie said. “And he said, ‘Good. Now you pray to your God.'”
Marie said her ex-husband told her he was going to kill her and her loved ones.
“So, it’s almost like God said, ‘You’ve got to wreck this car,'” she said. “And so, I’m like, ‘I’m going to die anyway so I’m going to wreck this car.'”
Marie spent three days in the hospital.
Rodney Bennett pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder and especially aggravated assault. More than three years after the incident, Marie said Rodney Bennett’s guilty plea serves as closure for her and her family.
“I’m not judging him for anything,” she said. “He is serving a sentence that’s based upon a very poor decision that he made, that he is accountable for.”
She wants people to know that something like what she experienced could happen to anyone.
“But, if you find yourself in a situation, whether it’s a spouse, partner, sibling, whatever, and people are telling you it’s not right and you’re kind of feeling this is not right, try not to get to the point to where you devalue yourself so much that you feel like well, this is the best I could do. This is what I deserve,” she said.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is open 24 hours. You can contact them by calling 1 (800) 799-7233.