Santa Ana police arrest suspect in decades-old case of homicide

The girlfriend of a man stabbed and killed in Santa Ana more than 25 years ago was arrested by authorities in Texas and will be charged for the man’s death.

The Santa Ana Police Department announced Tuesday that Jade Benning was arrested for the murder of Christopher Hervey in 1996.

Hervey was repeatedly stabbed in his Santa Ana apartment, located in the 2200 block N. Broadway Street.

His girlfriend claimed that a Black man had forced his way into her apartment, then brutally attacked Hervey’s upper torso. Hervey was declared dead on the spot shortly after police arrived.

Police say that neighbors reported hearing a loud argument at the apartment. It lasted about 15 minutes. Despite neighbors’ reports, no arrests have been made and the case is still open.

Benning moved to Las Vegas in 2001 and then to Austin, Texas, in 2002.

Nearly two decades later in 2020, police got their first break in nearly 20 years when they received an anonymous letter that pointed the finger at Benning as the one responsible for Hervey’s death.

The case was reopened by detectives who reexamined the evidence, conducted new interviews, and ordered new forensic testing. Ultimately, police collected what they believed was enough evidence to justify a warrant for Benning’s arrest.

United States Marshals took Benning, who was located near her Austin residence, into custody on Tuesday around 2:20 PM local time.

Santa Ana police said that they are currently working to have Hervey extradited to Orange County in order to bring her to trial for murder. She is expected to be detained on $1 million bail once she arrives in California.

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