Jaqwun Laerin Turner. Photo courtesy the Santa Ana Police Department
Jaqwun Laerin Turner. Photo courtesy the Santa Ana Police Department

A felon serving time in the Orange County Jail is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in connection with a 2004 murder and rape in South Los Angeles.

The body of Leah Deshay Benjamin, 38, was found on April 10, 2004, in an alley behind the 10600 block of South Manhattan Place. The crime was determined to be sexual in nature and death was attributed to blunt force trauma to the head.

No suspects were identified during the original investigation which was extensive, police said, and the case remained unsolved until last year.

Los Angeles police were notified that the California Department of Justice had found a match between the DNA profile obtained from the original evidence and Jaqwun Laerin Turner.

Turner’s DNA was collected in connection with his arrest by Santa Ana police on Jan. 29, 2014, in a felony hit and run case.

In that case, the body of Martha Rodenza was found on the northbound Santa Ana (5) Freeway at the westbound Garden Grove (22) Freeway. Rodenza had been picked up by Turner at a gas station in San Juan Capistrano while he was working as a fuel delivery driver.

For an unknown reason, Rodenza had jumped from the cab of Turner’s truck to her death.

Turner pleaded guilty to one count of felony hit and run causing injury or death in that case and sentenced to a year in county jail. He began serving his sentence in February.

Detectives later discovered that Turner had lived close to where Benjamin’s body was discovered.

In April, detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery- Homicide Division working with members of the Scientific Investigation Division searched the location where Turner had once lived, and although the property had been sold in 2005, the location was unchanged and DNA evidence matching Benjamin’s was found.

The investigation was presented to the District Attorney’s Office on June 11 and Turner was charged with murder in the commission of a rape.

Anyone with additional information on the killing was asked to call detectives Dan Myers or Greg Stearns at (213) 486-6890.

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