Woman arrested for taking suspect across state lines

The girlfriend of Chad Justin Smith, the man arrested last month on a charge of shooting to death an acquaintance, was herself arrested June 15 for allegedly aiding and abetting a felon.

Chico police Sgt. Dave Barrow reported that his department had been looking for 29-year-old Velvet Bennett since late May. She was arrested in Las Vegas on May 24 on one count of assaulting a police officer, two days after Smith allegedly shot to death Sean Kittleson in a Rio Lindo Avenue apartment. After she was arrested in Las Vegas, though, Bennett was released, and made her way back to Chico.

Although she’s had a warrant out for her arrest for weeks, Bennett didn’t appear to he hiding. She hand-delivered to the CN&R a letter to the editor (which was later published) on June 1, complaining about the coverage of Smith’s arrest.

Bennett was arrested June 15 after police spotted her driving with a male companion along Park Avenue, Barrow said. Officers used “extreme caution” and approached Bennett’s car with guns drawn, Barrow said, noting that she recently was charged with attacking Las Vegas police officers. She didn’t put up a fight during the arrest, though, Barrow said.

“It wasn’t beyond our imagination that she might have weapons and whatnot in the car,” Barrow said.

A search of the car didn’t reveal either weapons or drugs, Barrow said.

“She has been known to partake of drugs, and we wanted to check that out,” Barrow said.

Court records show that police successfully lobbied to double Bennett’s $5,000 bail amount in an attempt to keep her in jail, but Bennett still managed to post the $10,000 bail the day after she was booked, Barrow said.