OREGON CITY, Ore. -- A third person was arrested in connection with the murder-for-hire plot that resulted in the violent death of a Gladstone woman last year, and court documents revealed that there were multiple attempts to kill her.
Debbie Lee Higbee-Benton (pictured, above left), was found dead in her salon May 28, 2011. An autopsy showed she was shot, beaten and strangled. Weeks later, 54-year-old Susan Campbell turned herself in, saying she had committed the murder after she was hired by Higbee-Benton's husband, Lynn Benton.
Police announced Thursday that Campbell's son, 32-year-old Jason Jay Jaynes (pictured, below), was also arrested in connection with the murder. Court papers newly unsealed and obtained by KGW said that Benton paid Jaynes in November 2010 to kill Higbee-Benton and that was one of the first of many attempts on her life.
Higbee-Benton's husband, a former Gladstone police sergeant (pictured, above right) was arrested Wednesday by U.S. Marshals, according to Lt. Jim Band of the Oregon City Police Dept. The judge has ordered Benton held without bail.
Just before Benton appeared in court on conspiracy and aggravated murder charges Thursday, police announced that Jaynes was the third person to have been arrested in the case. Court papers said there were repeated attempts to kill Higbee-Benton, starting in 2010.
Jaynes was charged with one count of attempted aggravated murder and two counts of criminal conspiracy of a felony. His arraignment was scheduled for Friday.
Jaynes was a resident of Gladstone, but was believed to have moved in with an aunt in Seaside shortly after the homicide.
Benton's Oregon driver's license lists his gender as male. Lynn was born as a woman and later underwent a sex change. In past court documents, Benton has been referred to as both "she" and "he" and Higbee-Benton was described as his estranged wife.
KGW Reporter Kyle Iboshi contributed to this report