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Anthony Bennett pleads guilty for Isabella County murder of 4-year-old Carnel Chamberlain

A 21-year-old Isabella County man pleaded guilty to the June 2012 murder of 4-year-old Carnel Chamberlain.

Anthony Michael Bennett pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder in U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington’s Bay City courtroom. He is scheduled to be sentenced at 2:30 p.m. on March 27.

According to court documents, Bennett, who murdered Carnel at the home he shared with the boy’s mother on East Tomah Road in Chippewa Township, is to be sentenced to 35 to 40 years in prison.

Carnel was reported missing on June 22, 2012. Hundreds of volunteers, police and firefighters searched around the home for the missing boy for a week. The body of the missing boy was found under the home’s porch, burned and buried.

In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dropped counts of animal cruelty, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault of a child and assault of a child resulting in substantial bodily harm and two counts of witness tampering against Bennett, according to court records.

Bennett’s sentence for Carnel’s murder will run concurrently with a 36-month to 10-year conviction in Bay County for assaulting a corrections officer while he was jailed on federal charges, according to court documents.

He will also be held to a term of supervised release of up to five years, according to court documents.

Bennett was to be tried in federal court next month.

He was charged in federal court because he is a Native American and member of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, as was Carnel, and the crime happened within the Isabella Reservation.

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