Anna Benson once a murder suspect?
Anna Benson was back in the news last week when she was arrested for allegedly demanding $30,000 from her estranged husband after storming into his apartment clad in all-black, sporting a bulletproof vest and a host of weapons.
But while we wait for the legal drama to play out for the wife of former MLB hurler Kris Benson, currently being held without bail in Georgia, a shocking story from her past has surfaced.
Benson, then known as Anna Warren, was once the target of a national manhunt in connection to the slaying of an 18-year-old Knoxville man, according to an exclusive in the New York Daily News.
The future "baseball's hottest wife" was 19 at the time of the 1996 slaying and sharing an apartment with her then-boyfriend Paul Dejongh. Police issued arrest warrants for both in the death of Michael Evans, a community college student preparing to enlist in the Navy.
According to the Daily News, the lead investigator in the case says witnesses recalled Benson telling her boyfriend to "Get rid of him," after an argument in their apartment.
Police were called to the apartment at 7:30 a.m., and determined that five people lived there. Benson and Dejongh were the only ones missing, having fled in a red 1992 Lexus and heading toward Georgia, according to the report.
A manhunt soon followed and the pair were even featured on "America's Most Wanted." No, really. Here's the video evidence:
Benson remained on the loose for the next five months, until she was picked up in Portland, Ore., reportedly sporting purple hair and a tongue ring.
Dejongh was picked up in Atlanta two months later and was later convicted of first-degree murder in the case, only to have it overturned. He eventually pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge and was sentenced to 21 years. He died while serving his sentence.
Prosecutors decided against a murder charge for Benson, instead pushing for an accessory charge, but that was dropped in May 1998, according to the Daily News report.
Her lawyer at the time, Tom Dillard, told the Daily News that Benson's involvement was not criminal.
“She didn’t do anything. There was no miscarriage of justice. The state couldn’t prove the case. There was no evidence that she was involved in assisting and abetting the shooter.
“She was frightened, as you could imagine, and left the scene with this fellow. That was the only problem she had.”
Michael Evans Sr., a nuclear engineer in Knoxville, told the Daily News he still believes Benson had something to do with his son's death.
“She was definitely a part of the murder of my son. She’s a killer.”
And he had some words of warning for Kris Benson.
“This girl doesn’t care about human life. She’s a very dangerous person.”
“I wish her husband the best. He made a big mistake.”