Ashley Benefield, a former ballerina, was accused of the murder of her husband, Doug Benefield. Here is everything you need to know about the accused and her family.
A whirlwind romance turned into a horrendous crime in Florida when Ashley Benefield allegedly killed her own husband, Doug Benefield. He met Benefield, who was 30 years younger than him, and quickly fell in love.
He met Ashley nine months after his wife Renee died due to a heart condition. Doug who got married to the ballerina just 14 days after meeting her was immediately smitten from the first meeting.
“The Black Swan Murder” highlights Benefield’s narrative of how a ballet dancer became accused of murdering her husband. The story, reported by “48 Hours” contributor Jim Axelrod, will run on CBS on Saturday, June 4 at 10/9c and be available on Paramount+.
Where Is Ashley Benefield Today?
Ashley Benefield has been released on bond after over two weeks in jail. Ashley was apprehended and charged with second-degree murder five weeks after the death, although she pleaded not guilty.
It’s unclear whether Ashley actually feared for her life or whether she’s a conniving “black swan” from a Hollywood drama. Her trial is not set to start until 2023.
Ashley aspired to build an inclusive ballet company that welcomed people of all body sizes and ethnicities. Friends say Doug wanted to make Ashley happy, and he was determined to make her dream come true.
At the conclusion of the summer of 2017, dancers from all across the country began arriving in Charleston to join the American National Ballet or ANB.
Who Is Ashley Benefield’s Daughter?
Ashley Benefield gave birth to the couple’s daughter in March 2018. At the time, she didn’t let Doug know about their baby.
In addition, she also did not put his name on the baby’s birth certificate. After the judge intervened, he got to see their daughter after 6 months.
Doug agreed to Ashley when she proposed moving to Maryland with their then 2-1/2-year-old daughter and Ashley’s mother, Alicia Byers, in the spring of 2020.
Doug assisted Ashley in loading the family’s belongings onto a U-Haul truck on September 27, 2020. Ashley’s mother brought her granddaughter to a local park at 7 p.m., leaving Ashley and Doug alone in the house.
That is when he got killed after a fatal shooting.
Verdict: Was Ashley Benefield Found Not Guilty In The Murder Case?
Ashley Benefield was found not guilty in the second-degree murder of Doug Benefield. When Doug and Ashley were alone in their home, a neighbor heard screaming and called 911.
She, later, arrived at their house with a gun in her hand. She told them that she killed her husband in self-defense.
Doug was still alive but unable to talk when police and medical personnel arrived. He passed away an hour later in a local hospital. Ashley did not speak to sheriff’s deputies, but her mother and lawyer Faith Brown did.
Her mother claimed that she and Ashley had been terrified of Doug for three and a half years. She claimed they sought to get help from the authorities but were turned down.
Authorities investigated Ashley’s charges against Doug, but Doug was never charged with a crime. Doug, Alicia countered, “knows how to play the game.”
Investigators discovered that Doug had been shot twice while facing Ashley. He was shot twice in the leg and once in the arm, with one bullet entering his chest cavity.