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Family Fights To Free Man Sentenced To 1,800 Years For Murdering Stepfather Who Molested His Sister

Photo: Change.org
man shoots abusive stepfather

In 2003, Christopher Bennett, a man from Virginia was given 3 life sentences which are 1,800 years for killing his stepfather, Vincent McDorman.

18-year-old Bennett claims he caught McDorman molesting his younger sister, Victoria McDorman and shot him.

He has been in prison for 19 years now and for years his family has been trying to get him out.

However, this story is catching more people’s attention now as Bennett’s family and supporters are requesting Gov. Ralph Northam to pardon him of all charges.   

Christopher Bennett's family want his sentence to be overturned.

Bennett's plight has stirred a moral debate as many feel he has been punished enough for his crime.

Christoper Bennet claims he killed Vincent McDorman to save his sister from his abuse.

Bennett had gone to his stepfather’s house to pick up a check. Vincent had promised him money in exchange for testifying against his mother so that she wouldn’t be able to get custody of her kids. 

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When he was outside the house, he could hear Victoria’s cries, who was 6-years-old at the time. Bennett broke into the house and caught him molesting Victoria. He then pulled a gun on Vincent and shot him. 

Bennett then stole Vincent’s checkbook but in the aftermath was arrested. During the court proceedings, Bennett was presented with two bizarre options.

Victoria says, "It was going to be a death sentence or he could take a plea deal of 1,800 years. So, he took a plea deal of 1,800 years."

Bennett was given 3 life sentences which added up to 1,800 years. He had 3 charges which were killing, robbery and breaking & entering. 

Victoria thinks of her brother as her “hero” and “best friend”.

Victoria and her sister, Cassandra McDorman say they were both being physically and sexually abused by Vincent when they were kids. They have both talked about the traumatic experiences they had as children.  

Victoria mentioned how the family wasn’t given a chance back then to tell their story, “It was so quick to be determined that we weren’t being abused or molested and that his reasoning wasn’t correct, but they never spoke to us about it”.

But now, they want their story to reach more people so they can help bring their brother back home.

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Victoria mentions how grateful she is for the sacrifice Bennett made, “He gave his life for us to have a chance to have this because there is no way we would’ve survived” 

And considers him to be an important person in her life, “He’s my hero, he’s my best friend".

Christoper Bennett’s family started a petition online to free him that needs 200,000 signatures.

Bennett’s family has tried everything they can and is still trying to help him. In 2020, Bennett’s family organized a rally at the place where their house once stood. 

“This place right here, this is where it happened and I look around and the only thing I see is that house and no way to escape it,”

Cassandra spoke about how the experience still haunts her after all these years, “even as an adult, there’s no way to escape it. And I don’t think anyone should feel that way”.

They also started an online petition that needs 200,000 signatures so it can be brought to Gov. Ralph Northam’s attention in the hope of him pardoning Bennett.

They even made an appearance on Dr. Phil where Cassandra talks about her brother and her side of the story. 

Cassandra says, “I miss him so much and I want him home.”

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Sanika Nalgirkar, M.F.A. is a writer and an Editorial Intern at YourTango who writes on entertainment & news, lifestyle, and pop culture topics.