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Woman charged in lover’s murder 26 years after his death


A woman who claimed an intruder busted into her California apartment and killed her boyfriend more than two decades ago has been charged in the cold-case slaying after an anonymous letter was sent to investigators, police said.

Jade Benning, who was living in Santa Ana in January 1996, told cops a black suspect forced his way into the apartment she shared with her 22-year-old boyfriend, Christopher Hervey, and stabbed her partner several times during a 3 a.m. attack, killing him, cops said Tuesday.

Christopher Hervey was shot dead in 1996.
Christopher Hervey was killed in 1996.
Santa Ana Police Department

Benning, also 22 at the time, gave “general statements” to investigators about the alleged break-in — during which neighbors told cops they heard a loud argument inside the apartment for about 15 minutes.

Investigators proceeded to work the case, but were unable to make any arrests until the receipt of an anonymous letter to Santa Ana cops in January 2020 that implicated Benning in her former flame’s murder, police said.

Benning, who was arrested Tuesday near her home in Austin, Texas, was taken into custody after an extensive follow-up investigation, including forensic testing. She’s now set to be extradited back to California to face the murder rap, where she’ll be held on $1 million bail, police said.

Five years after allegedly killing her boyfriend, Benning moved to Las Vegas in 2001 and later to Austin.

Hervey had been discovered dead with multiple wounds to his chest and body, although a weapon was not recovered, the Orange County Register reported.



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