OREGON CITY – One suspect in a Gladstone murder-for-hire plot has pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated murder, agreeing to testify against the victim’s estranged spouse.
As part of the plea deal, Susan Campbell agreed to testify against former Gladstone police sergeant Lynn Benton, the victim's husband.
Campbell said she was hired by Benton, who is in jail facing conspiracy and aggravated murder charges after his arrest on Wednesday.
Debbie Lee Higbee-Benton, was found dead in her salon May 28, 2011.
Court papers said there were repeated attempts by three suspects to kill her, starting in 2010.
Campbell’s son, 32-year-old Jason Jaynes was also arrested in connection with the case, charged with attempted aggravated murder.
An autopsy showed Higbee-Benton was shot, beaten and strangled. Weeks later, the 54-year-old Campbell turned herself in, saying she had committed the murder.
Campbell appeared in Clackamas County court Friday wearing a jumper and handcuffs.
The judge has ordered Benton held without bail.