Santa Ana

1996 cold case murder solved?

A COLD CASE murder from 1996 in Santa Ana may have finally been solved (Shutterstock).

A cold murder case from a quarter of a century ago in Santa Ana may have been solved.

According to the Santa Ana Police Department, a suspect was arrested Tuesday by U.S. Marshals in Texas. She was identified as Jade Benning, wanted in connection with the 1996 stabbing death of Christopher Hervey.


The case originated on Jan. 4, 1996, when SAPD officers responded to a 3 a.m. call at 2205 W. Broadway St. A Black man had reportedly broke into the apartment and stabbed the victim “numerous times” in his upper torso. He died from his injuries.

The victim was sharing his apartment with Benning.

She made “general statements” about the incident and neighbors reported hearing a loud argument inside the apartment for about 15 minutes.

Despite much effort, not enough evidence was gathered to prosecute a suspect, so the case went cold.

In 2001 Benning moved to Las Vegas and from there to Austin, Texas. In January 2020 the SAPD received an anonymous letter implicating Benning as being involved in Hervey’s death.

A homicide cold case detective reopened the case and with forensic testing and by consulting with forensic experts, what police feel is “sufficient evidence” was compiled for a criminal complaint, and a $1 million warrant was issued for Benning’s arrest.

A task force from the U.S. Marshals arrested her near her home in Austin. SAPD detectives were there for the arrest and the extradition process to move her back to California to face a murder charge is underway.


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