HORRY COUNTY, SC (WPDE) — Gary Bennett was convicted of murdering Eva “Marie” Martin in 2002. His conviction was overturned by a judge in 2008. He worked through an appeal process called Post Conviction Relief, PCR, and argued his attorney in his original trial did not adequately represent him. He’s claimed innocence for nearly 20 years.
On Thursday, the jury reached a verdict after hours upon hours of deliberation in his long-awaited retrial. They deemed Bennett not guilty on all of his charges including: murder, armed robbery and burglary. He was processed and released from J. Reuben Long Detention Center around noon that day after being locked up for about 18 years.
“This is why we go to law school. These are the cases you go to law school for — to help people,” Bennett’s defense attorney Amy Lawrence said.