Daniel J. Bennett Named Prosecutor of the Year

May 7, 2013

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tim Connolly 508-368-7236

Or Paul Jarvey 508-368-7241

WORCESTER — Worcester County Senior First Assistant District Attorney Daniel J. Bennett has been named “Prosecutor of the Year” by the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association.

Mr. Bennett is one of three prosecutors who will be honored May 23 and 24 at the 19th Annual MDAA Prosecutors Conference in Boston.

“I like to joke that Dan Bennett is the Babe Ruth of our office, but the truth is Dan might have better stats,” said Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr., who nominated Mr. Bennett, “He is one of the best prosecutors I have ever seen and is invaluable in the office as a mentor to younger assistant district attorneys.”

Mr. Bennett came to the Worcester County District Attorney’s office in 2011 after a varied and successful career both as a prosecutor in Middlesex and Suffolk counties and as a defense attorney.

Mr. Bennett oversees all prosecutions in Worcester Superior Court and mentors all assistant district attorneys in the office. Despite his heavy supervisor’s schedule, He handles some of the toughest murder prosecutions. Last year, the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office brought six murder cases to trial and won six first-degree murder convictions.

Mr. Bennett won two of those cases. Overall since Mr. Bennett joined the office, 12 murder cases have been brought to trial. The results have been eight first-degree murder convictions, three second-degree murder convictions and one manslaughter conviction. No not-guilty verdicts.

Most recently Mr. Bennett won a first-degree murder conviction in an 8-year-old case in which the victim had been stabbed and stoned. The jury deliberated for about one hour before

returning with a guilty verdict.

Last year, Mr. Bennett argued for the conviction of a Fitchburg man accused of murdering his wife, putting the body in a large suitcase and discarding the suitcase off a highway. The case involved an arranged marriage, an exotic dancer witness and a sex tape. Again, Mr. Bennett won a first-degree murder conviction.

In another domestic violence case, Mr. Bennett won a first-degree murder conviction in the death of a courthouse worker in Worcester.

Because of a hung jury, Mr. Bennett twice had to try a case of random violence. A man in Worcester knocked on the door of a home and stabbed to death the woman who answered. The first trial ended in a hung jury. It was learned later that the jury had voted 11-1 for conviction. The case was tried again with the same result. The defendant pleaded guilty to second degree murder before the third trial.

One of the most notorious murders in Worcester was the killing of Kevin Harkins who was called out of a bar room in 1994 and was never seen again. Mr. Bennett, working with detectives from the Worcester Police Department, put evidence before the grand jury last year that led to murder charges against three suspects. That case continues to move forward.