25 years to life for Ingersoll in 2007 homicide


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The mother of a local murder victim had some powerful words for the man who strangled her daughter to death, dumping her body behind the Deerfield Fire House in January of 2007.

Denise Saunders had begun to wonder if she'd ever see her daughter, Jennifer Bennett's, killer brought to justice. A DNA 'hit' led police to Ingersoll five years after he killed Bennett. A jury in November took only 90 minutes to convict Ingersoll of Bennett's murder. Bennett was working as a prostitute to support an addiction to crack; Ingersoll picked her up then killed her after she refused to honor a specific request.

"You are a repulsive, squatty, nasty and vile thing," said Denise Saunders to Ingersoll. "We all loved her and miss her. Life does go on, we know that. But when you lose a daughter or your mom when you're such a young child, it's always there somewhere. It's not like you can say the case is closed and it's done," said Saunders.

Bennett's 16-year-old son, Justin, remembers coming home from school and seeing police cars at his house. Saunders told her grandson what had happened, and he lay on the couch and cried. The teen spoke out for the first time at the sentencing of his mother's killer.

"Took a lot from me. That's my mother," said Justin Bennett. "And now she's not gonna' see me grow up to be a man, have a car, it's not fair."

The teen said what he'll miss the most about his mother is the time she spent with him.

"That she's the only one who actually would visit me rather than my father and always would be there no matter what, even when she was on drugs," said Justin Bennett.

Ingersoll said he was sorry for putting both families through the six-year ordeal.

Judge Barry Donalty sentenced Ingersoll to the maximum: 25 years to life in state prison, saying, "I hope every day is a miserable one for you, Mr. Ingersoll".

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