An Austin, Texas, woman was expected to make her first court appearance Monday on charges of fatally stabbing her boyfriend in Santa Ana 26 years ago.
Jade Manda Benning, 48, is accused of killing 22-year-old Christopher Hervey Jan. 4, 1996, according to Santa Ana Police Department Sgt. Maria Lopez. Benning was arrested May 3 near her residence in Austin, Lopez said.
Benning is charged with murder with a sentencing enhancement of using a dangerous or deadly weapon, according to court records.
Police executed search warrants in Austin regarding the cold case in June 2020.
Police were called about 3 a.m. Jan. 4, 1996, to 2205 N. Broadway, Lopez said. Police were told a man forced his way into the apartment Harvey shared with Benning and the victim was stabbed repeatedly, Lopez said.
Neighbors reported hearing a “loud argument” in the apartment for about 15 minutes, Lopez said.
Benning told police she saw someone struggling with her boyfriend, and the attacker slashed her right hand before running away through a back door, the Los Angeles Times reported in 1996.
Benning moved to Las Vegas in 2001 and the case went cold. In January 2020, police received an anonymous letter “implicating” Benning, Lopez said.
Police revived the investigation and consulted with forensic experts and were able to gather enough evidence to obtain a criminal complaint, and a warrant was issued for Benning’s arrest, Lopez said.
Benning, who was being held on $1.1 million bail, was booked into Orange County Jail on Saturday, according to jail records.