AZ death row inmate's convictions, sentences upheld - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

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AZ death row inmate's convictions, sentences upheld

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Trent Benson. (Source: Arizona Department of Corrections) Trent Benson. (Source: Arizona Department of Corrections)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

An Arizona Supreme Court ruling Wednesday upholds a death row inmate's convictions and sentences in four kidnappings and sexual assaults in which two of the victims were killed.

Mesa police arrested Trent Christopher Benson in 2008 after his DNA was linked to DNA found on the bodies of all four victims.

Police had begun watching Benson based on descriptions provided by a woman in the spring of 2008 who said she was repeatedly solicited by a man who frequented a particular bar.

Police retrieved Benson's DNA from a dropped cigarette butt. He was arrested and confessed to the two murders and one of the two assaults.

Police said in November 2004 Benson beat Alisa Beck, strangled her to death and left her body in a Mesa alley.

In August 2007, he kidnapped and assaulted a woman with the help of an unidentified man. The victim identified Benson as her attacker in a subsequent photo lineup, police said.

In October 2007, Benson strangled Karen Campbell, dumped her body on a Mesa street and then ran over her with his car, police said.

Benson confessed to police that he assaulted another woman in November of 2007. As she was walking across a lot, he choked her from behind with a cord. When she regained consciousness, police say, she was lying on the side of a road.

Benson was convicted in Maricopa County cases in which the crimes were committed during a three-year span. The jury found him guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, four counts of kidnapping, three counts of sexual assault and one count of attempted sexual assault.

Benson received two death sentences for the killings of Beck and Campbell as well as consecutive prison terms totaling 135 1/2 years.

The Supreme Court of the state of Arizona ruled the jury did not abuse its discretion in imposing the death penalty for each murder.

Benson listed 27 other constitutional claims that he acknowledges the court had previously rejected but he seeks to reserve for federal review. The court declined to revisit the claims.

The ruling stated, "We affirm Benson's convictions and sentences."

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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  • Sidebar: Trent Christopher Benson

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