Accomplice in 2003 Bennett murder gets 14 years in jail

Y., who was 15 when Adwan Farhan allegedly murdered the two women, reached a plea bargain with the state on the charges against her.

March 15, 2010 22:39
3 minute read.
Accomplice in 2003 Bennett murder gets 14 years in jail

Dana Bennet 248.88 ch10. (photo credit: Channel 10)

The Nazareth District Court on Monday accepted the state’s request and sentenced Y. to 14 years in jail for helping murder Dana Bennett (Ben-Yitzhak) and Czech tourist Sylvia Molrova in 2003.

Y., who was 15 when Adwan Farhan allegedly murdered the two women, reached a plea bargain with the state on the charges against her, but the sides were left free to ask for the sentence they thought appropriate.

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The court sided with the state.

“The criminal deeds of the defendant and her partner, which led to the premeditated murder of two innocent young women, and the harsh repercussions of their deeds on the families of the victims, as we have learned from the intensity of the pain and loss felt by Vicki Bennett, oblige us to hand down a severe punishment and to choose considerations of retribution and deterrence rather than that of rehabilitation,” the court said.

Y. was convicted of being present and actively helping Farhan, with whom she had been living for two years, kill Molrova, 27, on July 5, 2003. Farhan offered Molrova a lift home. On the way, he picked up Y. and drove to Nahal Tzalmon in the Lower Galilee, where he choked her with a cable. Y. suggested making certain she was dead by drowning her in the stream and helped weigh the victim down with rocks and submerge her in the water.

Bennett was killed less than a month later. Farhan and Y. spotted her getting out of a taxi near her uncle’s home in Tiberias. At Farhan’s instructions, Y. told Bennett that Farhan owned a hotel and needed a waitress in an emergency. She offered her a large sum of money for two hours of work. Bennett, who was 17, agreed and the three drove off. Later, he stopped the car and beat her unconscious with his fists. He and Y. drove to a gas station to buy gasoline and set the body on fire.

According to social workers who examined Y., she “was born to a mother suffering from mental illness, a violent woman who did not function properly. Y. did not know who her father was. At the age of three, she immigrated to Israel and lived with her mother, who was often interned in psychiatric hospitals, and grandmother, who was unable to function.

“From an early age, the defendant took to the streets with a group of friends on the margins of society. At the age of 12 she began to have sexual relations with older men and eventually met Farhan.

“At first the relationship seemed normal but as time went on, Farhan became obsessive. He would interfere with the way she dressed and whom she went out with and checked her whereabouts through a cellular phone that he had given her. Matters went still further, to the point of threats and physical violence and, at the same time, the satisfaction of the defendant’s longing and need for a family relationship which she had lacked,” the social workers said.

The judges, Nehama Monitz, Shaher Atrash and Attif Ailabouni, wrote that the defendant’s background, as well as the fact that she had cooperated with the police, did not have a criminal record and was dependent on Farhan, had been taken into account in the plea bargain.

The Penal Law calls for a punishment of up to 20 years for being an accomplice to murder. Thus, Y. was liable to a sentence of 40 years in jail. The 14 years that the state asked for took into account the arguments for leniency, the judges ruled.

Dana Bennett’s mother, Vicki, told Israel Radio after the sentencing that Y. deserved a life sentence and that she was just as much of a killer as Farhan, but that there was no choice but to reach a plea bargain so that the trial could be ended quickly and Y. could testify against Farhan.

Y., who is now 22 years old, is due to take the witness stand in Nazareth District Court on Wednesday to testify against her ex-boyfriend.

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