person in orange jumpsuit in jail
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
March 24, 2024 ·  4 min read

Man Shoots And Kills Stepfather For Molesting His Young Sister, Gets 1,800 Years In Jail

In 2003, 18-year-old Christopher Bennet walked in on his stepfather molesting his five-year-old sister. In a blind rage, he shot the man in the head, killing him. Sentenced to a total of 1800 years in prison, his family is now pleading with the Virginia governor to set him free.

Family Begging To Set Their Brother Free

In mid-December of last year, several dozen people gathered outside Virginia governor Ralph Northam’s house in support of one man. That man is Christopher Bennet, who has been in prison for the last 18 years. The courts gave him three life sentences after he broke into his stepfather’s home, shot, and killed him. It may seem confusing as to why, then, so many people want to see him set free. This is because of the circumstances that surrounded his crime. (1)

Bennet’s mother’s husband was not a good man. According to Bennet, he abused his mother and also himself, both physically and sexually. At 18 years old, Bennet no longer lived with his stepfather. His young sisters, however, were under this man’s care. (2)

The Story

According to the write-up on, there had been some sort of issue within the family that led to a court battle to win custody of the girls. The stepfather had promised Bennet a large amount of money if he lied in court against his mother so that the stepfather would win. Young and living on his own, he agreed – but then the man never paid him.

Bennet went to the house that day to collect the money that his stepdad had promised him. He broke into the house, only to hear his sister crying upstairs. When he went to investigate, he found his stepfather on top of his then five-year-old sister with his hand between her legs. Bennet went into what he described as a “blind rage”, grabbed a gun, and shot the older man in the head. He doesn’t remember much between seeing his stepdad on top of his sister and then dying on the floor. Panicked, he took the checkbook and ran out. He was arrested later that day.

Hero Or Criminal?

He has been behind bars ever since that day. His younger sisters, now adults, as well as other family members are now advocating for his release. They say they understand that breaking in and taking the checkbook was wrong, but ultimately, he saved his younger sisters’ lives. Because of Bennet’s actions, he spared his sisters a lifetime of abuse and trauma at the hands of this man. He spared them the life that he had lived and known all too well. (3)

“Chris was wrong for breaking in that night, and I’ll never say he wasn’t. Chris was wrong for taking the man’s checkbook; but for protecting his sisters? He shouldn’t have gotten 1,800 years. Protecting your family shouldn’t be a crime,” said Elizabeth Ailstock, Bennett’s mother.

His sisters share the sentiment. They were very young when their father died, however, they still remember what living with him was like. The women still carry some of the emotional and psychological scars that they received at the hands of this terrible man. If it weren’t for their brother, those scars would run even deeper. They know that thanks to their brother’s actions, they grew up with a very different life and opportunities that they wouldn’t have otherwise had.

“If he wouldn’t have done what he did that night, I would still be in that same situation and I wouldn’t have had the chance to live the life I’ve had,” said his sister Victoria McDorman.

The Petition and Protest

The story gained national attention after Bennet and his family did an interview on The Dr. Phil show, with Bennet joining over the phone from prison. In mid-December, supporters of Bennet held a protest outside of Governor Northam’s home to urge him to grant Bennet clemency before he leaves office. The family also created a petition that now has over 150,000 signatures. (4)

“So on behalf of everyone in Atlanta, in Georgia, and all across the United States I’m asking that this governor please grant him Clemency,” a speaker at the protest said.

The family is also now working with an attorney to help them with paperwork and advocate more effectively for Bennet’s release. A statement from the Governor’s office said this:

“Governor Northam has pardoned more people than any of the last nine governors combined. He is continuing to review this and other pardon petitions, and will do so through his last day in office.”

For now, we will all have to wait and see what Governor Northam decides to do with Bennet’s case.

Keep Reading: Truck Driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos Sentenced To 110 Years Has Jail Time Reduced To 10 Years


  1. Virginia family pleads with Gov. Northam to pardon man sentenced to 1,800 years in prison.” NBC12. John Hood. December 19, 2021.
  2. Free Christopher Bennett!Change
  3. Supporters of VA man with 1,800-year sentence demonstrate in Richmond.” WRIC. Will Gonzalez. December 18, 2021.
  4. Man Sentenced To 1,800 Years In Prison Tells His Story About What Happened Night He Shot, Killed Stepdad.” Dr Phil. December 6, 2021.