Former TSA official loses appeal of Harrison County fatal stabbing

Ruben Orlando Benitez
Ruben Orlando Benitez
Ruben Orlando Benitez

JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — The murder conviction of a former employee of the federal Transportation Security Administration in Mississippi has been upheld by the state Court of Appeals.

Ruben Orlando Benitez had appealed his murder conviction in the 2011 death of a co-worker.

Benitez was convicted in Harrison County in 2013 for the fatal stabbing of Stacey Wright, who was killed in her home. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Prosecutors say Benitez told authorities that he killed Wright after the two argued about her wanting to end their affair. Prosecutors say she was stabbed 11 times.

Both had worked for the TSA, providing security in airports.

The Appeals Court on Tuesday denied Benitez’ argument that he acted in the heat of passion. The court said the evidence supported the murder conviction.