UPDATE: Co. attorney to seek death penalty for alleged serial predator

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Death penalty sought against Benson


PHOENIX -- County Attorney Andrew Thomas announced today that a notice of intent to seek the death penalty has been filed in the case against Trent Benson (DOB 10-7-71). Police have linked Benson to attacks that began in August 2004 and ended in November 2007. Benson is accused of raping four women. Two of them were strangled to death. Three of the attacks happened in Mesa. One occurred in Phoenix. Benson was arrested in May 2008 by Mesa Police. On May 23, 2008 a grand jury indicted Benson on:

Two counts of First Degree Murder, class one felonies

Four counts of Sexual Assault, class two felonies

Four counts of kidnapping, class two felonies

On July 22, 2008, the County Attorney's Office filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Benson.

Thomas stated, "We are pursuing the death penalty to seek justice for the victims and punishment commensurate with the defendant's alleged crimes."


MESA - New details are emerging about the suspected serial predator.

Court documents say he has admitted to some of the attacks, had an accomplice and almost slipped away. The new information is coming from arrest documents and search warrants just released Monday.

They include an interview with Benson, in which he admits to playing a role in at least three attacks.

Trent Benson is facing murder and kidnapping charges stemming from attacks on four women in the last three years. In each case the victims were strangled, beaten and raped. Also, in each attack officers were able to take DNA samples.

Last August police say Benson abducted a woman, drugged her and brought her to his home. She escaped and was able to remember shocking details of the attack. In documents obtained by 3TV the victim says she was assaulted by two Asian males. She says one took pictures as the other raped her.

She noticed a video camera mounted near the ceiling and several video monitors in the room and told police she could see herself in the monitors.

Tips led Mesa Police to Trent Benson. They followed him to his apartment and to work. They took a cigarette butt Benson tossed outside his business and the DNA on the cigarette matched samples taken from all four victims.

After his arrest, b=Benson admitted to police he strangled and assaulted three of the victims but said he has memory loss on some of the attacks.

Search warrants reveal officers seized cameras, computers, vhs tapes and handcuffs from Benson's car, business and home which he shared with his brother.

Despite the victim's claim that two Asian men attacked her, so far no one else has been named a suspect. 3TV also found out Benson almost slipped away. Officers found mapquest directions to Minnesota in his apartment and he told police he was getting ready to run.