Published: Sep 30, 2008 12:30 AM Modified: Sep 30, 2008 08:43 AM
Man gets life sentence in slaying
Mwanza Bennett pleads guilty to stabbing Lorrielle Watkins more than 200 times



Mwanza Bennett listens to a judge after being sentenced Monday in a Wake County court. The slaying victim, Lorrielle Watkins, had broken off her relationship with Bennett before she was killed in May 2007.
Staff Photo by Takaaki Iwabu


RALEIGH - Chandra Wells learned more Monday about the May 2007 stabbing death of her daughter than she ever knew -- or wanted to know -- before.
She learned that neighbors of the Trees and Leaves apartment complex on Kent Road heard Lorrielle Watkins scream repeatedly for help as she was stabbed more than 200 times with a knife and an ice pick. One neighbor even saw Watkins' bloody hand clutch at her window blinds in a futile attempt to get away from Mwanza Bennett, the single mother's ex-boyfriend and killer.

Although Bennett pleaded guilty to first-degree murder Monday and was sentenced to a lifetime in prison, Wells thinks there are others who might have been able to save her daughter from getting stabbed to death in front of her autistic son.

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