[symple_googlemap title=”” location=”16418 Hazlewood Ct., Moreno Valley ” height=”300″ zoom=”15″]
Jury deliberations got underway Monday in the trial of a Moreno Valley woman, her son and her lover, who are accused in the beating death of her husband after he discovered that she had been cheating on him.
Darla Anne Bennett, 45, her 28-year-old son, Sonnie Chavira, and 48-year- old David James Harrison are accused of killing Juan Servin of Moreno Valley in December 2014.
The defendants are all charged with first-degree murder and a sentence- enhancing allegation of killing for financial gain.
Harrison is additionally charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and a sentence-enhancing allegation of committing a crime while on bail.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by sheriff’s Detective Sean Freeman, the 47-year-old victim was beaten to death on the night of Dec. 4, 2014, in the garage of the single-story home he shared with Bennett at 16418 Hazelwood Court.
The defendants and victim were drinking when Servin became agitated and allegedly made disparaging remarks about Bennett, who had been romantically involved with Harrison for two months, Freeman said.
According to the detective, Bennett later told investigators that she stepped out of the garage and returned moments later to find Harrison and Chavira striking her drunken husband on the head with blunt instruments. An autopsy later revealed he had been hit 22 times.
Investigators spoke to several witnesses, who alleged Bennett and Servin had been at odds for a while, and she had once expressed a desire to “kill that son-of-a-bitch.”
Harrison and Chavira allegedly wrapped Servin’s body in a yellow comforter, taped it up and tossed it into the back of his pickup truck. Harrison then allegedly drove into the Badlands, a sparsely populated area between Moreno Valley and Beaumont, and dumped the remains alongside the eastbound Moreno Valley (60) Freeway.
According to Freeman, blood spatter was later identified on Harrison’s jacket, in the defendant’s Corvette and a Nissan Sentra that he’d rented around the time of the killing. He and Bennett were arrested in Long Beach a few days later.
Chavira was arrested two months later in Dallas. He has no documented prior felony convictions.
According to court records, Bennett, also known as Darla Anne Sell, has a prior conviction for embezzlement. Harrison, also known as David James Butler, has priors for being a felon in possession of a concealed weapon and evading arrest. He has convictions outside the county that resulted in prison time, though court records did not specify any details.
Bennett and Chavira are each being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. Harrison is being held in lieu of $1.2 million bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.