PALATKA, Fla. – A Putnam County jury took just 33 minutes Wednesday to convict a man of murdering a 52-year-old woman in June 2012.
Gary Bennett, 38, was also convicted of burglary while armed, robbery with a firearm and grand theft auto. He faces a mandatory life sentence at a sentencing date to be set later.
Evidence at trial showed that Bennett broke into Maureen Haugdahl's Interlachen home and shot her execution-style. Bennett ransacked the house, stole several valuables and took Haugdahl's vehicle.
DNA evidence linked Bennett to the scene and to the car keys of her vehicle.
Investigators also tracked several pieces of Haugdahl's jewelry to a pawn shop that Bennett had visited to pawn those items.
The murder weapon, a .32 caliber handgun, was one of several stolen by Bennett at an earlier time and recovered after the murder.