Man who shot at police appears in court, assigned psychiatrist

Local News

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — John Bennett was appointed a psychiatrist in Champaign County Court on Thursday.

The Potomac man wouldn’t turn his face to the court video camera during his hearing. He even refused to enter the courtroom on Tuesday, and wouldn’t communicate with the judge clearly on Wednesday.

Thursday, he was appointed a psychiatrist to determine his fitness to stand trial. “The question when it comes to fitness is whether somebody can participate in the process, whether they can assist this attorney, whether they can communicate, whether they can understand what’s going on and can be a part of it,” explained Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz.

Additionally, the court’s mental health expert will determine what his sanity was on Sunday, when deputies say he fired a rifle at them and threatened a woman to drive away from a police stop.

The police chase ended in Vermilion County early Monday morning, and was followed by three hours of negotiations between police, the sheriff says. Bennett was arrested without incident after dropping and unloading his gun.

He will next appear in court on March 25. His bond is set at $2 million.

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