On trial

Testimony begins in shooting of Mesquite woman


Published on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 15:06


1benitezmugBENITEZDALLAS – Testimony began Tuesday in the trial of a man accused of shooting a woman in her Mesquite home last December with the victim’s 9-year-old daughter taking the stand.

Wilson Alexander Benitez, 46, is facing a possible sentence of life in prison if convicted of aggravated robbery in the Dec. 14, 2011 shooting of Edna Clement after posing as a delivery man to gain entry to her home in the 2100 block of Bent Brook Drive.

Benitez was arrested at his Dallas apartment a day after the shooting, thanks in large part to fingerprints found on items at the crime scene. Investigators say they believe Benitez’ motive was to steal a safe containing $50,000 in cash that he had found out about through his sister, who they say was having an affair with the victim’s husband.

Clement’s daughter, who was 8 at the time of the attack on her mother, testified Tuesday that she heard a knock on the door of the family’s home at about 7:45 a.m. and saw what appeared to be a delivery man standing in the doorway carrying a vase of flowers. She said the two struggled and that Benitez struck her mother before shooting her in the chest with a small handgun.

The girl was able to run to a neighbor’s house for help. The bullet barely missed Clement’s heart and she spent 10 days in the hospital.