Man Charged with Capital Murder in Hinds County Receives Maximum Sentence for Possessing Twenty Pounds of Marijuana

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Christopher Craig Bennett received the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to possessing twenty pounds of marijuana, found during a routine traffic stop around County Line Road in Ridgeland.

Bennett is also facing a capital murder charge in Hinds County for the death of Chivas McElveen who was shot multiple times on May 9, 2016.  Bennett is set for trial on July 10, 2017, in front of Judge Tommie Green.

On February 12, 2016, the Ridgeland Police Department stopped the car driven by Christopher Craig Bennet for a routine traffic stop.  When the officer approached the vehicle he could smell the strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.  The officer asked for and received consent to search Bennett’s vehicle.

During the search, a pistol was found along with an assault rifle.  When the officer went to search the trunk Bennet, who had provided consent for the search, became extremely nervous. The officer located a blue bean bag which was found to contain twenty, one pound Ziploc bags of marijuana.  Bennet was arrested and transported to the Madison County Detention Center. Bennett was questioned by law enforcement and admitted that the car he was driving belonged to him, but stated that he was not aware of the bean bag containing marijuana and that someone else must have put it in the trunk of his car.

Guest stated, “We must continue to aggressively prosecute violent drug dealer like Bennett.  Pro marijuana advocates may say that marijuana is safe and harmless, but those who deal drugs still represent an extreme danger to our community.  As prosecutors, from across America, step into courtrooms tomorrow, most of the crimes they will be prosecuting will be in some fashion related to illegal drugs.”

Guest added, “Madison and Rankin counties are no exception to the dangers drugs cause.  I have personally seen many lives and families torn apart by drug abuse.  As we continue to fight this problem we must partner with law enforcement, schools and the community to educate and bring awareness to the harm that illegal drugs often cause.”

Guest concluded, “I am very proud of the Ridgeland Police Department for not only removing a significant amount of drugs from our streets, but also allowing us to put behind bars an individual who allegedly took the life of another.  I hope that this conviction will strengthen Hinds County’s case against Bennett as they seek to bring him to justice in the death of Chivas McElveen.”

District Attorney Michael Guest was sworn into office in January 2008 and represents the Twentieth Judicial District, Madison and Rankin Counties.  For more information regarding the District Attorney’s office, follow us on Facebook, download our app or please visit www.daguest.com.

Defendants:

Name:                          Christopher Craig Bennett

Address:                       3761 Terrell Avenue, Jackson

Date of Birth:               October 22, 1984

Marijuana Fast Facts:

  • Teens who use marijuana are nine times more likely to use other drugs, five times more likely to steal, and four times more likely to become violent.
  • Marijuana is the most-used drug, after alcohol, and is frequently found present in the blood of people injured and fatally injured in DUI related car crashes.
  • Smoking marijuana leads to changes in the brain similar to the effects caused by cocaine, heroin, and alcohol.