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Recently fired Univ. of Idaho professor broke into friend's trailer, docs say

Denise Bennett was charged on Sept. 20 with two counts of drug charges and a burglary charge. She was fired from UI on Sept. 18.

NEZ PERCE COUNTY, Idaho — Denise Bennett, the University of Idaho professor who was recently fired for allegedly 'verbally assaulting' a staff member and allegedly using meth, is facing burglary and drug charges.

According to Idaho court records, Bennett was charged with one count of burglary, one count of possession of a controlled substance and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia in Nez Perce County Court on Sept. 20.

The burglary and possession of a controlled substance charges are felonies, while the paraphernalia charge is a misdemeanor. 

According to court documents, Bennett broke into a camp trailer of a friend last week in Lewiston. Bennett was staying at the trailer and stole a cell phone, documents said. According to police records, Bennett admitted to breaking into the trailer and stealing the cell phone. 

Documents said Bennett was later located at the Clearwater River Casino where she was staying. Officers found meth in her room, according to court documents. According to police statements, officers found a blue plastic pen tube that contained what appeared to be meth. Documents said they also found a piece of tinfoil that had burn residue on it, a liquid vape refill bottle and a substance that appeared to be meth wrapped in a piece of plastic. In court documents, officer said they found a total of one gram of meth. 

Court records said Bennett will hire a private attorney and pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor paraphernalia charge on Sept. 23. No plea is listed for the other two charges.

Court records show she posted $5,000 in bail. Court records do not indicate a specific city where Bennett was arrested.

A status conference hearing in Nez Perce County Court is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 30, while a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 2 at 1:30 p.m.

Bennett was fired on Sept. 18 at the recommendation of a University of Idaho panel. The University of Idaho banned her from campus over what they claim were security concerns surrounding a student protest after learning Bennett had previously admitted to using methamphetamine.

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The following video details a police report that stated Denise Bennett had a dispute with her husband over admitted meth use.