Ashley Benefield loses motion to dismiss murder charge

Ashley Benefield, seen in a booking photo on the right, is accused of killing her husband, Doug Benefield, who appears in an image with his then-wife on the left. (Facebook; Manatee County Sheriff’s Office)

A former ballerina in Florida had her self-defense claim denied by a judge in a pretrial order issued this week, Law&Crime has learned.

Ashley Benefield, 31, stands accused of murder in the second degree for shooting and killing her estranged husband, Douglas “Doug” Benefield, 58, inside their Lakewood Ranch, Florida, home in September 2020. The defendant has consistently maintained she acted in self-defense since being arrested in November of that year.

On Monday, 12th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge Stephen M. Whyte issued an order more or less agreeing with the state’s understanding of the events that led to Doug Benefield’s death.

Ashley Benefield loses motion to dismiss murder charge

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