ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A woman who stole and sold a gun that eventually ended up in the hands of a man who shot an Ithaca police officer was sentenced Thursday in Rochester, reports say.
[do_widget id= text-55 ]
Ciera Bennett, 23, of Lawrenceville, Pa., was sentenced to 16 months in prison, according to WHCU.
Bennett admitted in December that she stole a .38 caliber revolver from her mother and then sold it in the City of Elmira on April 26, 2012 for drug money, records show.
The gun was used later that year by Jamel Booker to shoot Officer Anthony Augustine. Augustine suffered a stroke but survived.
Jamel Booker was later arrested and is currently serving a 25-year-long prison sentence for the shooting.
How authorities found the gun
The tracing of the gun to Bennett began during a repossession of a couch by a Rent-a-Center employee, court records show.
On December 31, 2012, Ithaca police interviewed a man named Michael Moseley. During that interview, Moseley told police that he had found a handgun while he was moving a couch for Rent-A-Center.
Moseley said that he heard rattling inside the couch as he was taking it to the dumpster at Rent-A-Center. Mosley soon discovered that, on the underside of the couch, there was a tear in the fabric.
Inside, Moseley found a black Colt Detective .38 Special revolver, federal court documents say. The gun contained 5 live rounds, along with a spent shell casing.
Moseley took the gun home and decided to report the finding of the handgun after his manager said police began asking about a couch rented to Kimberly Harden, Jamel Booker’s girlfriend at the time of the shooting, federal court documents say. (Harden was later indicted on charges of hindering prosecution in the first degree of the investigation into the Augustine shooting.)
When police recovered the weapon from Moseley’s residence, they discovered that the serial number matched that of a gun reported stolen from Peggy Bennett around April 26, 2012.
Peggy Bennett is Ciera Bennett’s mother. Ciera Bennett’s recent plea to two counts of the indictment comes “without the benefit of a plea agreement,” records show.
Reporter Kyle Friend contributed to this report.
[do_widget id= text-61 ]