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Ingersoll rejects plea deal in 2007 homicide, no bail set

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The north Utica man accused in a five-year-old local murder rejected a plea offer in Oneida County Court on Tuesday.

Craig Ingersoll is accused of strangling Jennifer Bennett to death and leaving her body behind the Deerfield Fire House in January 2007.

On Tuesday in court, Ingersoll said no to an offer that would have meant 22 years to life in prison in exchange for a plea to second-degree murder. The maximum that Ingersoll faces if convicted is 25 to life. Police caught up with Ingersoll when he was arrested for other crimes, and they got a DNA hit from evidence left on Bennett's body. His attorney, Luke Nebush, debates the validity of that.

"Right now, there's a very strong argument for us fighting the DNA that was secured at the scene," Nebush said.

The judge also granted the prosecution request for no bail in this case, citing five prior instances where Ingersoll failed to show up in court when he was supposed to for unrelated cases. Next, attorneys will make motions or requests of the court as they move toward trial in this case. One of those will be a defense motion regarding that DNA evidence.

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