Two federal trials for crimes allegedly committed in Oak Ridge, including one that involved an alleged bank extortion attempt, have been rescheduled.
The first trial had been scheduled for Tuesday, March 29, in U.S. District Court in Knoxville. But it has been rescheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, November 7. That trial is for Michael Anthony Benanti, 43, of Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania.
Benanti and a co-defendant, Brian Scott Witham, 45, of Waterville, Maine, had been named in a 15-count indictment issued by a federal grand jury in December. They were accused of kidnapping family members and robbing or attempting to rob three banks and credit unions in Oak Ridge, Knoxville, and Elizabethton. The Y-12 Federal Credit Union in Oak Ridge was one of the three financial institutions that was targeted.
Witham pleaded guilty March 1. His sentencing is set for August 17. He reportedly faces a minimum 42-year prison term, but could receive a life term. [Read more…]