Two Adults Sherman Bennett, Rakeshbhai Patel Charged in Villa Rica Fatal Crash

Sherman Bennett, Jr. 67, and several others face charges in connection with a deadly drunk driving crash in Villa Rica.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. - Two adults and a 17-year-old are now facing charges in connection with the death of 16-year-old Villa Rica High School student Cheyenne Sauls. The Douglas County sheriff says more arrests may come.

Charged were Sherman Bennett, Jr. 67, and Christopher Alexander Roth, 17. A Douglasville liquor store owner, Rakesh Patel, is also facing charges in the case, says the Douglas County Sheriff.

Rakeshbhai "rocky" patel

Authorities say arrest warrants have been issued for four more people, including a father who is accused of allowing his high school aged son to drink with friends in their home.

A liquor store on Chapel Hill Road in Douglasville will play a large role in the case because, police say, it's where some teenagers were buying beer.

Bennett is accused of buying beer for his juvenile grandson. Then at the urging of other minors -- including Roth who is also charged -- of allowing his grandson to have a party.

Sauls was killed last weekend, when a car full of teens crashed in Douglas County. Georgia State troopers said 17-year-old Jason Lark lost control of his SUV early Saturday on Pleasant Drive, killing Sauls and injuring two others. Authorities say Sauls was thrown from the SUV and killed.

Sauls was a sophomore at Villa Rica High School.

At a bond hearing at the Douglas County Courthouse, a judge denied bond to Lark, saying he was a menace to the community. The 17-year-old was already out on bond for drug and alcohol charges when the accident occurred. Lark is being held in the Douglas County Jail. He is accused of DUI and vehicular homicide.

Investigators say hours before he got into the deadly drunk driving crash, Lark made his first stop at Bennett's grandson's party Friday evening on his way to getting drunk.

Earlier Friday evening, investigators say another teen bought beer at a Douglasville liquor store on Chapel Hill Road and then took it home where his father allowed him and his high school friends to drink. That was the second stop for Lark.

Warrants are out for that father and his son. The liquor store owner Patel has already been arrested for allegedly selling the beer to that minor. Investigators say at least two others were sold beer as well.

A nephew of the liquor store owner says they followed the law and checked IDs and that it said 21. If the ID's were fake they could not determine that.

Authorities say at least for more could be arrested, including Dustin Willis, 21. He is accused of providing alcohol to the underage high school students on Friday night in the deadly accident. Police say he was in that deadly accident -- in a passenger seat -- but fled the scene before police arrived.

By WSBTV 02/24/2011 13:37:00

Subscribe to comments feed Comments(1 posted)

Remain unknown 02/26/2011 00:40:05
Sherman did do the wrong thing, But the 16 yr old (im related to them) im not releasing his name but he had no "role in getting teenagers drunk" When chayenne tried to leave the party he took the keys and she then left with one of her friends. I find it unfair that the media and news would broadcast WRONG INFO to the world ! so please don't blame the bennett's!
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