Ashley Benefield was once a dancer and swimsuit model who established a revolutionary ballet company. However, she is now referred to as a murderer after being charged with the murder of her husband, Doug Benefield, in Florida.
Eva Benefield, her stepdaughter, had to endure two great losses within nine months of interval. First, her mother died of sickness, and then her father was murdered by her stepmother.
Where Is Ashley Benefield Now?
Ashley Benefield is currently out on bail after pleading not guilty to the murder of her husband, Doug Benefield. She faces second-degree murder charges and will go on trial this summer.
The allegations against her stem from a five-week inquiry by local authorities into the gunshot murder of her husband, 59.
The ex-ballerina said authorities she shot her spouse in self-defense after a marital fight. However, there is no evidence to back up this assertion.
I just watched this! Why is #AshleyBenefield out on bond when she killed her husband #DougBenefield? She definitely fabricated all that story to support her murder. #48Hours #TheBlackSwanMurder #BlackSwan https://t.co/pyE0jyephV— Larissa’s inflatables (@DaBlackB2) June 11, 2022
According to ABC 7 WWSB, the ballet dancer's spouse was shot shortly before 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 28, 2020.
He was shot two times and died as a result of his injuries in a nearby hospital.
The Florida officers' investigation discovered no proof that the ballet dancer had been physically assaulted before she reportedly shot her husband to death.
However, Ashley has filed repeated petitions claiming Doug of domestic assault, as seen on the county documents.
Furthermore, detectives discovered that on each occasion, the ballet dancer did not appear to be abused by the spouse she would allegedly shoot to death.
In Charleston, South Carolina, the doomed pair launched a ballet company in 2017. The couple was separated and embroiled in a custody struggle over their kid, Eva Benefield, at the time of the shooting.
Ashley was living with her mother at the time of the incident that took Doug's life.
According to News Channel 8, no one was present besides the ballet dancer and her husband when he was reportedly shot.
On the day of the incident, Doug was visiting Ashley and Alicia's place on a Sunday night. Ashley's mother, Alicia decides to take their baby down to the local park for a stroll.
Ashley remained with Doug when a neighbor soon heard cries and contacted 911. Ashley then proceeded to another neighbor's house, carrying her 45 caliber weapon.
She walks next door with a pistol in her hand and informs the neighbor, "In self-defense, I shot Doug." The next-door neighbor dials 911.
Learn The Murder Trial Verdict Of Ashley Benefield And Daughter Eva Benefield
Ashley Benefield has pleaded not guilty to the charges applied to her of the murder of Doug Benefield. However, Doug's family attorney, Stephanie Murphy, described Ashley as "this innocent, immaculate White Swan."
"But she's a terrible lady behind those white feathers. The Black Swan is her name."
Doug was shot to death on September 27, 2020, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
During a "custody battle" over the couple's tiny kid, he went to the Florida home of his estranged wife, Benefield.
Eva Benefield details how her life began to change after her father married a 24-year-old ballerina.— 48 Hours (@48hours) June 6, 2022
Inside the relationship between Eva and her father: https://t.co/v1vNA8erDq pic.twitter.com/RgCFfmDgc4
Ashley said she shot Doug in self-defense during a heated "domestic argument." However, officials and Doug's family have questioned her story, alleging that it did not match the facts discovered at the site.
According to the sheriff's office, "detectives found no evidence that she was acting in self-defense when she fired many shots at her husband." And "found no evidence that she had been physically abused."
Eva Benefield, their daughter who was struggling for custody after her parents separated, describes how her life changed once her father married a 24-year-old dancer.
She was still processing her mother, Renee Benefield's death, when she discovered her father's murder. She was stunned and is still dealing with unspeakable trauma.
She recalled the developing conflict between Ashley and her at home. Ashley became pregnant, which turned the entire scenario upside-down.
She left Dough and moved in with her mother. She contacted Child Protective Services in Florida and filed a complaint against Dough.
Doug had rage issues, according to Ashley, and he had shot his gun inside the house the day before.
He was the subject of a CPS inquiry, however, he was eventually cleared.
Dough told Eva before his murder that their relationship was going great and that he was looking forward to a new beginning.
He was getting ready to start his new life on September 27, 2020. He was going from Florida to Maryland with Ashley, their small daughter, and Ashley's mother, Alicia, said Eva.
Ashley Benefield Is A Former Ballerina
Ashley Benefield, 28, a former ballet dancer, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in September 2020 for the fatal shooting of her husband in Florida.
Doug was a Navy veteran who, three years ago, co-founded a dance company with his wife in Charleston, South Carolina. Doug served as CEO, while Ashley served as executive director.
However, immediately after the company's inception, it was sued by dancers and choreographers. They claimed their contracts were violated when they were fired only weeks after being hired.
'What Was Ashley Benefield Verdict? CBS 48 Hours Update On Ballet Dancer Facing Husband's Murder Charge' https://t.co/Y107ERU3jw— Seema sapkota (@Seemasapkota7) June 5, 2022
Dough married Ashley 13 days after their first meeting, following the death of his first wife.
They met at a dinner party in Florida in August 2016 during the presidential campaign. Doug was 54, and Ashley was 24, but age didn't matter.
"He just thought Ashley was the most beautiful, lovely girl in the world," Vanity Fair writer Alice Robb says.
When they met, she was working at Donald Trump's campaign headquarters in Sarasota, Florida. He was a former Navy pilot and consultant located in South Carolina who worked with technology companies and defense contractors.
Their daughter, Emerson, was born less than a year after they married. The marriage, however, was marked by squabbles and reconciliations, as well as a failed business venture, a dancing school in Charleston, South Carolina.
The couple eventually contemplated divorce. In September 2020, they began negotiating a custody arrangement for their daughter.