BUCKHANNON — On Thursday, April 8, Jack Anthony Bennington, age 31, entered a guilty plea to felony charges of fleeing in a vehicle with reckless indifference to the safety of others.
Bennington is currently being held at Tygart Valley Regional Jail and attended his pre-trial hearing virtually within the Upshur County Circuit Court. After the pre-trial begin, Bennington waived his rights to a speedy trial and took the option of a plea agreement.
Bennington was asked on the record what he did to warrant the Court’s acceptance of a guilty plea. In response, he explained to Judge Kurt Hall that he picked up his younger cousin on the evening of December 29, 2018 and was driving through French Creek when he encountered another car on the small road. Bennington claimed that his younger passenger told him to “race it” and he proceeded to fly down the road. When police engaged, Bennington said he fled, fearful of the consequences. Law enforcement pursued Bennington until his “car blew up” and reportedly came to a stop, thankfully without injuring anyone. Officers reported that Bennington was reaching speeds of 80-85 mph in a 40-55 mph speed zone.
Judge Hall accepted Bennington’s guilty plea and he will continue to be held without bail until his sentencing hearing on June 7 at 11:30 a.m. He faces a sentence of 1-5 years in prison and a possible fine of $1,000-$2,000.