Orange County District Attorney Press Release
For Immediate Release: August 7, 2014
Case # 09HF1629
SANTA ANA – A graduate student at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) was convicted today of shooting and murdering his ex-wife outside of his campus apartment related to a dispute over child support payments. Brian Hughes Benedict, 40, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of special circumstances murder for financial gain and lying in wait with a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death. Benedict faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole at his sentencing on Sept. 12, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At approximately 7:00 p.m. on Sept. 13, 2009, 30-year-old Rebecca Benedict went to pick up her 4-year-old son from Brian Benedict at his apartment on the campus of UCI on Verano Place. The couple recently attended a court hearing where the defendant had been ordered to pay child support. After the victim entered Brian Benedict’s apartment, the defendant attacked Rebecca Benedict by swinging a hammer at her head.
Rebecca Benedict ran from the apartment down an adjacent path to escape. Brian Benedict chased her with a firearm and shot the victim several times. Brian Benedict then went back into his apartment, grabbed his son, and put the boy in the car. Witnesses and neighbors, who feared the defendant was going to flee the scene with his son, physically restrained Brian Benedict until police arrived.
The Irvine Police Department and the UCI Police Department investigated this case.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.