Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 10:01 a.m.
If James Benjamin has a lawyer, he should be fired.
According to police, the 39-year-old Lake Worth man admitted to the murder and rape of 36-year old Jessica Delgado, a mother of five children, including two she had with Benjamin. Police say Delgado's body was discovered by relatives the morning of May 8, with blood around her head and Benjamin lying next to her, unconscious.
A bloody knife was found on the ground with a shattered handle. Delgado's children reported that Benjamin had just been released from prison, and Delgado told him he could stay there until he got back on his feet.
Delgado was dead when police arrived. Benjamin, unresponsive, was taken to the hospital, where doctors told police they discovered marijuana and benzodiazepine in his system. He was conscious by Saturday, and on Sunday he was finally awake enough to eat and communicate, and reportedly asked to speak with police once he found out they were in the hospital.
He then told a detective that he and Delgado got into an argument over rekindling their relationship that escalated to the point that both of them were armed with knives; he said Delgado fell on her knife, stabbed herself in the neck, and died. He said he was so distraught over the accident that he took a bunch of pills to kill himself because he had "just killed my wife."
Benjamin was released from the hospital yesterday and "voluntarily accompanied" a detective to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office for questioning, where he elaborated: He was talking with Delgado about their relationship, he said, when he noticed some other guy's name was tattooed on her forearm. He got mad, and Delgado pulled a knife. Benjamin said he took it from her, and, according to the police report, "at one point the two of them fell to the floor and Jessica Delgado was accidently stabbed in the neck."
Benjamin reportedly said he pulled the knife out of her neck and, as police describe it, "became enraged." He then told police that he strangled Delgado to death and sexually assaulted the body before taking what he thought was a benzo overdose. It didn't work, and now he's charged with first-degree murder.