A woman who told police almost 30 years ago a Black man killed her boyfriend has been arrested for his murder. An anonymous tip prompted law enforcement to re-open the case and use new technology to determine she fabricated “the intruder” alibi in an effort to not be blamed.
New forensic evidence has indicated Jade Benning stabbed her boyfriend Christopher Hervey to death in 1996 in Los Angeles, police say. Now a resident of Austin, Texas, she is in the process of being extradited to California.
Benning was taken into custody near her home on Tuesday, May 3. Video showed a cuffed Benning being escorted by Santa Ana detectives and the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force Benning to the Travis County Jail, where she was booked, NBC 4 states.
The Santa Ana Police Department has not revealed what evidence has been discovered, leading the agency to charge her with murder in Hervey’s slaying.
However, his demise is no longer filed under “cold case” and the man’s family will finally have a true rendering of his death.
The story they have had up until January 2020, when police received an unsigned letter identifying the murderer, was created by Benning 27 years ago.
The now 48-year-old told authorities a Black man broke into their Santa Ana home and stabbed Hervey on Jan. 4, 1996, ABC 7 reports.
She called 911 and asked for officers to come to the apartment. When they arrived at 2205 N. Broadway Street, where the couple lived, she told them she woke up around 3 a.m. and saw an African-American man and her then-22-year-old lover fighting. Benning claimed she tried to jump into the fight to save her boyfriend, but she was also slashed by the intruder. He cut her hand.
The officers did not question her story, believing the “thug” who killed Hervey got in and out without a trace, despite neighbors telling them they heard a loud argument that lasted for approximately 15 minutes in the apartment.
Hervey died in the hospital, succumbing to stab wounds in his torso. He was not able to describe who assaulted him to authorities. As a result, investigators told the press it was an open and shut burglary and homicide case, which went unsolved.
In 2001, the Los Angeles Times states, Benning moved to Nevada and then to Texas to start a new life.
In her new life, she started a vintage clothing business in Texas, but her past caught up with her.