Suspect in murder-for-hire plot faces sex abuse charges

Jason Jay Jaynes, 33, is accused in a 2011 murder-for-hire plot with his mother that was allegedly orchestrated by a former Gladstone police sergeant. On Sept. 20, 2013, a grand jury indicted him on child sex abuse charges. (Clackamas County Jail)
Jason Jay Jaynes, 33, is accused in a 2011 murder-for-hire plot with his mother that was allegedly orchestrated by a former Gladstone police sergeant. On Sept. 20, 2013, a grand jury indicted him on child sex abuse charges. (Clackamas County Jail)

OREGON CITY, Ore. (KOIN) – A 33-year-old man accused of taking part in a 2011 murder plot with his mother that was allegedly orchestrated by a former Gladstone police sergeant now faces new child sex abuse charges.

Jason Jay Jaynes was indicted by a Clackamas County grand jury Sept. 20 on counts of second-degree rape, third-degree rape, second-degree sodomy, third-degree sodomy, first-degree sexual abuse and using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct. He faces 18 counts in all.

The Oregon City Police Department reported Thursday that the crimes occurred between 1998 and 2001 when Jaynes lived at 220 Ipswich St. in Gladstone. Investigators believe there could be more victims.

Meanwhile, Jaynes still faces attempted aggravated murder and criminal conspiracy charges in connection with the murder of 54-year-old Debbie Lee Higbee-Benton. Detectives would not confirm if the sex abuse charges are linked to the Higbee’s murder investigation. Jaynes mother, 55-year-old Susan Campbell, plead guilty to Higbee-Benton’s murder last year.

On May 28, 2011, Higbee’s body was allegedly discovered in her Gladstone beauty salon by her estranged partner, 51-year-old Lynn Edward Benton. At the time, Benton was a sergeant and spokesperson for the Gladstone Police Department.

In June of 2011, Campbell confessed to the murder and was arrested.

However, in December of that year, an Oregon City police detective testified in Clackamas County Court that Campbell was offered $2,000 by Benton to kill Higbee in a murder-for-hire plot that was described as a crime of passion.

On Nov. 7, 2012, Benton was arrested on aggravated murder and solicitation charges in Higbee’s death. Jaynes was arrested the following day, Nov. 8.

On Nov. 9, 2012, as part of a plea deal in exchange for her testimony against Benton, Campbell plead guilty to one count of aggravated murder in Higbee’s killing. She has not yet been sentenced.

According to court documents, Benton may have first conspired with Campbell and Jaynes to kill Higbee in January 2010, approximately 16 months before the murder occurred.

Charging documents also state that Benton attempted to kill Higbee on Feb. 6, 2011.

Benton was fired from the Gladstone Police Department on Dec. 21, 2011, for reason unrelated to the murder investigation. Benton was allegedly dismissed for having pornography on a department computer, as well as engaging in a fraudulent marriage in 1993 with a Brazilian man so he could qualify for citizenship.

Benton underwent a female-to-male sex-change operation in 2010, and then married Higbee that year. Neighbors had said the two were live-in partners prior to the murder.

Jaynes has plead not guilty to the murder charges. Since his November 2012 arrest, he has remained lodged in the Clackamas County Jail. He is currently being held on $1.25 million bail. He was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon on the new charges.

Meanwhile, Benton remains lodged in the Marion County Jail. She was moved there for safety reasons because there could be inmates in the Clackamas County Jail that Benton had come in contact with while she was a police officer.

Anyone with information on the Jaynes investigation is asked to call Oregon State Police at 1-888-780-5678.

Faris Tanyos

blog comments powered by Disqus