Man denied bond in death of Johns Creek woman

by: Mike Petchenik Updated:

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FULTON COUNTY, Ga - A Fulton County judge denied bond Thursday for one of three men charged in the heroin-related death of a Johns Creek woman.

Alpharetta police have charged Cory Ben-Hanania with felony murder, concealing the death of another and with heroin distribution related to the death of Chelsea Bennett last March in his parent’s home.

Bennett’s mother implored Judge Jerry Baxter to deny the bond.

“Cory has done nothing positive with his life,” said Rita Bennett. “His parents have bonded him out and come to his rescue at every turn.”

Bennett said the 20-year-old’s past would be an indication of his potential future if freed from jail.

“If he gets out on bond he'll go back to doing drugs, and hurting people,” she said.

Bennett previously told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik her daughter was a debutante and aspired to work in the fashion industry.

Ben-Hanania’s attorney, Brian Steel, told Judge Jerry Baxter his client would not be a flight risk, citing a recent trip to Israel from which he returned to Atlanta even while knowing he was under investigation.

“Clearly, to me, he’s not going to flee the jurisdiction,” said Steel. “This is a tragedy and we’re not conceding any of the allegations, but even if true, this isn’t somebody going out to commit a robbery.”

Ben-Hanania’s father, Robert, told Judge Baxter he would see to it that his son stayed out of trouble and would live with the family in Peachtree City where they recently moved after media exposure of the case.

“We will keep a very close eye and make sure he stays on the right path,” he said.

Baxter told Steel he couldn’t grant his motion for bond because he couldn’t be sure Ben-Hanania would stay out of trouble or that his parents would properly supervise him.

Police have also charged Sebastian Andrade and Kevin McCaffrey in connection to the case. 

Andrade’s attorney also asked for a bond, but Baxter said he would take it under advisement. McCaffrey, accused of selling the heroin to Ben-Hanania, is in the Cherokee County jail on unrelated charges.


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