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Suspect In Bennett Murder Investigation Fired From Job

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Drew Planten (Better Photo)
RALEIGH, N.C. — The man accused of killing a young woman in her North Raleigh apartment more than three years ago was fired from his job at the state's agriculture department Monday.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Monday that Drew Planten, had been dismissed for "unacceptable personal conduct for bringing a concealed weapon" to the laboratory where he worked.

Raleigh police said Planten was carrying a concealed handgun when they arrested him outside the laboratory Oct. 19, for the May 2002 death of 23-year-old Stephanie Bennett.

State personnel law outlines procedures for dismissing an employee. In following the procedures, department officials scheduled a pre-disciplinary conference for Oct. 27, said Brian Long, public affairs director for the Department of Agriculture.

"Planten could have participated by telephone, but did not," Long said. "In fact, the department has not heard from Planten since his arrest."

Because Planten was a state employee for more than two years, he can appeal his dismissal.

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