(NationalUSNews.com) — Ashley Benefield, a former ballerina accused of murdering her estranged husband in their Florida home, claims she acted in self-defense and cited Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which prevents prosecution against someone who kills another due to fearing for their life. According to the judge overseeing Benefield’s trial, the evidence provided by the prosecution overwhelmingly indicates that Benefield is not entitled to having the case against her dismissed. Benefield maintains her innocence and claims she believed her life was in danger when she shot 58-year-old Doug Benefield, but the prosecution is unconvinced. Benefield is currently charged with murder in the second degree, and if convicted, Benefield may spend 16 years to life in prison.
The details surrounding Ashley Benefield’s relationship with her husband are available online and indicate a potential falling out between the couple. Benefield met her husband when she was just 24 years old, and the two quickly married just weeks later. Ashley Benefield started a ballerina company with her husband, Doug, known as “The American National Ballet.” Unfortunately for the Benefields, the business failed soon after its initial startup. Despite the company’s failure, the Benefields remained together, with Ashely Benefield becoming pregnant. Ashley Benefield then moved back in with her mother. Shortly after the baby was born, Ashley and Doug Benefield had a heated custody battle. While the two never officially divorced, they were estranged from one another.
The shooting occurred on September 27, 2020. Shortly after shooting her husband, Benefield ran to a neighbor’s house and claimed he attacked her before she shot him. Medical reports paint a different picture, as it appears that Doug Benefield wasn’t facing Ashley Benefield when she shot him. When police arrived at the crime scene, Benefield’s attorney was present and claimed she did not wish to give a statement. Benefield’s abuse claims on behalf of Doug Benefield aren’t entirely unsubstantiated, as Benefield filed domestic violence claims against her husband in court during their custody battle. Despite Benefield’s claims of abuse from her estranged husband, evidence indicates more to the story.
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