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Suspect arrested in deadly quadruple shooting near former Tenn. mountain resort

Jacob Allen Bennett
CBS affiliate WVLT
(CBS/AP) CRAB ORCHARD, Tenn. - Police believe they have arrested the person who fatally shot a woman and three teenagers whose bodies were found in a car in a former mountain resort in eastern Tennessee.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn said at a press conference in Crossville that Jacob Allen Bennett, 26, was arrested on a parole violation Friday, one day after the four victims were found on Renegade Mountain.

"We believe that we have this person that committed these crimes in custody, that this community is safe," Gwyn said.

Bennett was being held at Cumberland County jail while prosecutors prepared to evaluate charges. The jail had no immediate information about whether Bennett had an attorney.

A car containing the bodies was discovered by a resident of the community about 50 miles west of Knoxville on Thursday morning. The victims were identified as driver Danielle Jacobson, 22, and passengers Steven Presley, 17, Dominic Davis, 17, and John Lajeunesse, 16.

Deputy District Attorney General Gary McKenzie said the suspect and the victims knew each other "to some degree," but declined elaborate on a possible motive or any other details about the case.

Bennett was sentenced to two years in prison in 2010 after pleading guilty in Fentress County to theft-related charges and of being a convicted violent felon in possession of a firearm, according to court records.

"This has really affected a lot of the high-school-age kids," Cumberland County Sheriff Butch Burgess said. "This is something that is very traumatic."

Gwyn said Bennett was identified as a suspect "pretty quickly," but that it took the rest of the day to locate and arrest him in neighboring Rhea County.

The former resort had controlled access with a gate until 2010, when new owners got rid of it. That move gave rise to concerns among some residents about security in the 3,000-acre community.

Complete coverage of the Tennessee quadruple homicide on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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