Gladstone officer investigated in murder fired

Gladstone officer investigated in murder fired

Gladstone officer investigated in murder fired

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by KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on December 21, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 21 at 3:40 PM

PORTLAND – A Gladstone police officer under scrutiny in the death of a hairdresser has been terminated by the department.

Investigators were taking a close look at Sgt. Lynne Benton after the death of her spouse, Deborah Lee Higbee-Benton.

They were investigating a possible murder plot in which the sergeant hired 53-year old Susan Campbell, who was her best friend, to kill Higbee-Benton.

Gladstone police said Wednesday that Benton was fired for “two serious allegations” unrelated to the murder case. Last week a bail hearing was being held for Campbell, the woman accused of killing Deborah.

Higbee-Benton was found dead on May 28th and according to court papers, Campbell confessed.

Sgt. Benton's Oregon driver's license lists the gender as male, although Lynne was born as a woman. In court last Thursday, Benton was referred to as both "she" and "he" and Higbee-Benton was described as the sergeant's estranged wife.

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