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Attempted Murder Charge Against Former FBI Agent Accused of Divorce Plot

December 3, 1996

MANASSAS, Va. (AP) _ A former FBI agent already charged with threatening to blow up a minister has been charged with attempting to murder his wife as part of a divorce battle.

Eugene Bennett was indicted Monday on charges of attempted murder and of making a bomb.

He already had been indicted in September on charges of abduction, two counts of firearms violations, burglary, making a bomb threat, and insurance fraud.

Authorities say Bennett lured his estranged wife, Marquerite Bennett, and the Rev. Edwin Clever to the Prince of Peace Methodist Church on June 24 and strapped what he said was a bomb to the minister.

The bomb turned out to be a fake, using modeling clay in place of plastic explosives.

Prince William Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul B. Ebert said the attempted murder charge stemmed partly from allegations that Bennett was plotting to kill his ex-wife for insurance money.

Authorities said they found a real bomb and bomb-making materials inside lockers at two college campuses where Mrs. Bennett works. Keys to the lockers were found in Bennett’s belongings, the government says.

Reid Weingarten, Bennett’s attorney, pointed out that no one was actually harmed.

The Bennetts’ divorce became final last week, and Mrs. Bennett won custody of the couple’s two daughters, ages 10 and 7.

If convicted on all the charges, he could be sentenced to more than two life terms.

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