'48 Hours' Examines Case of Ex-Ballerina Accused of Killing Her Husband in 'The Black Swan Murder?' | Inside Edition

'48 Hours' Examines Case of Ex-Ballerina Accused of Killing Her Husband in 'The Black Swan Murder?'

48 Hours 'Black Swan'
Ashley Benefield was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of her husband.CBS News

CBS News Magazine "48 Hours" delves into the case of a Florida woman accused of killing her estranged husband.

CBS News takes a deep dive into the Florida case of an ex-ballerina accused of shooting to death her estranged husband.

In "The Black Swan Murder?" correspondent Jim Axelrod investigates the relationship of Doug Benefield and his wife, Ashley Benefield, a former ballerina and swimsuit model. Doug, who was a 54-year-old widower, married Ashley, who was 30 years younger, less than two weeks after meeting her, Wedenesay's episode of "48 Hours" reports.

Four years later, Doug was dead and Ashley was charged with second-degree murder. She has pleaded not guilty to the 2020 killing and is currently awaiting trial, CBS News reported.

Doug Benefield's family attorney, Stephanie Murphyt, equates the accused with the "devious character in 'Black Swan.'" 

“To Doug … Ashley’s this innocent, pure White Swan,” Murphy says in the installment. “But underneath those white feathers, she’s an evil woman. She’s the Black Swan.”

On Sept. 27, 2020, Ashley Benefield shot and killed Doug in her mother's home in Manatee County, according to the sheriff's office.

She told investigators she shot her husband during an argument, after he attacked her, authorities said.

There were no other people in the home at the time, and the Benefields were involved in a custody battle over their daughter, authorities said.

In November 2020, Ashley was charged in the death, and has maintained her innocence ever since, the news magazine said.

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