Doug Biography Doug Wiki
- Ashley Christina Benefield, 28, checked in with authorities Wednesday
- She was charged with second degree murder and detained in a county jail.
- The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the fatal shooting at Doug Benefield
- Douglas Benefield, 59, was shot dead on September 28 at his home on the Lakewood Ranch.
Ashley told investigators that she shot her husband in self-defense
- However, investigators said they had not found any evidence to support their claims.
- Court records show Ashley filed petitions against Doug for domestic violence
- But authorities said there was no evidence that Doug abused Ashley.
- Ashley and Doug co-founded a ballet academy in Charleston, South Carolina.
A former dancer was arrested and charged with second degree murder for the death of her husband ”Douglas Benefield” in a closed Florida meetinghouse last September.
Ashley Christina Benefield, 28, appeared at the Manatee County sheriff’s office Wednesday.
After a five-week investigation, Sheriff’s Office detectives informed Benefield’s attorneys that they were planning to charge her with second degree murder for the September 28 shooting of Douglas Benefield, 59.
That day, authorities received a report of a shooting in a home in Central Park at Lakewood Ranch, about 50 miles south of Tampa.
Ashley told detectives that she shot Doug in self-defense during a “domestic argument”.
But detectives couldn’t find any evidence to support their claims.
“These things take a while,” Randy Warren, spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, told WFLA-TV.
“We really need to make sure that there is no evidence that she was abused and that in this case she did not exist.
“We’re looking for the injured, we’re looking for torn clothes, we’re looking for signs of struggle, for things that were in this residence.
“We got an arrest warrant, we came in, we need to examine it carefully.
“There was no evidence that this was an act of self-defense.”
At the time of the shooting, the couple split in a custody battle over their two-year-old daughter.
Investigators said Ashley and Doug were the only two people in the house at the time of the shooting.
Ashley has filed multiple petitions accusing her husband of domestic violence, according to District Court records.
“In any of these cases, it didn’t seem like she was being abused,” Warren said.
“We haven’t found anything that could lead us to arrest your husband on any of these charges, some with his son.
Doug was a Navy veteran who started a ballet company with his wife in Charleston, South Carolina three years ago.
Doug served as CEO while Ashley took over as CEO.
However, shortly after the company was founded, she was sued by dancers and choreographers who claimed their contracts were broken when they were fired weeks after being hired.