Former professional ballet dancer murders husband over custody dispute

by San Eli News

A former professional ballet dancer is charged with her husband’s death and is behind the bars in connection with the September murder case. Ashley Benefield, 28, was accused of killing her husband, Doug Benefield, and was charged with second-degree murder on Friday, according to a press release by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Benefield was in a heated custody battle with her husband that she ended up shooting him twice, according to the police. She then reported that her actions were the result of self-defense as her husband tried to attack her. However, investigators found no evidence of physical abuse or her acting in self-defense.

According to News Channel 8, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Randy Warren said that it didn’t appear that Benefield was being abused and there was no evidence that could eventually lead to the husband’s arrest. Doug Benefield had gone to a home at Lakewood Ranch in the Central Park neighborhood where the suspect was living with her mother on the day of the incident.

He intended to visit and meet his child, however, an argument was initiated wherein the victim ended up suffering several injuries due to which he later passed away at a local hospital. Warren further added that the case of abuse didn’t exist at all and that they really tried to dig deep into it to find the real cause behind the shooting case.

In addition to that, there are reports wherein Ashley Benefield has filed reports of domestic violence against her husband, shortly after she became pregnant but upon investigation, there was no proof of her claims as indicated by an arrest affidavit.