Testimony begins for Mesa man in killings, rapes

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Testimony has begun in the trial of a Mesa man accused of raping and killing two women and sexually assaulting two others.

Thirty-nine-year-old Trent Christopher Benson is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, and four counts each of kidnapping and sexual assault.

On Tuesday, attorneys for both sides gave their opening statements and testimony began. The trial is expected to last until through November.

If convicted, Benson could be sentenced to the death penalty.

Benson has confessed to two murders and one of the rapes, claiming that in all three cases, he flew into a rage after arguing with prostitutes over payment and his own sexual performance.

He denied any role in a fourth rape.

Prosecutor Kirsten Valenzuela said Tuesday that DNA evidence linked Benson to all four attacks.

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