Judge warned Ashley Benson before murder

A judge tried to warn the sex-trafficking victim of the danger she faced before she was found dead in a hotel.

Retired judge Kristena Lamar warned Ashley Benson before she was murdered. January 16, 2015. (KOIN 6 News)
Retired judge Kristena Lamar warned Ashley Benson before she was murdered. January 16, 2015. (KOIN 6 News)

DAMASCUS, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A family law judge said she warned Ashley Benson that the sex trade she was involved in was endangering her life, a year before she was found dead in a hotel stairwell.

Ashley Renee Benson in an undated photo provided by her family. The 24-year-old died in a homicide, and her body found at the DoubleTree Hotel in Lloyd Center, Dec. 26, 2014.
Ashley Renee Benson in an undated photo provided by her family. The 24-year-old died in a homicide, and her body found at the DoubleTree Hotel in Lloyd Center, Dec. 26, 2014.

Judge Kristena Lamar spoke bluntly to Ashley Benson in court saying, “I’m afraid I just read too many stories and hear too many stories about young women who are engaged in that kind of behavior who end up with their throat slit at the bottom of some river.”

Lamar, who is now retired, said she immediately recognized Ashley when her body was found in a Northeast Portland hotel on December 26.

“One of the reasons I remember the case so well was that she was just a beautiful, intelligent young woman who cared very much for her child,” Lamar told KOIN 6 News.

Lamar said she tried to appeal to Ashley’s dedication to her young son in an effort to get her to leave the risky sex trade she was involved in.

“It is risky behavior, whether it’s protected sex or not, it is risky behavior to go into a room or any kind of facility with a stranger of the opposite sex about whom you know nothing and put yourself at risk,” Lamar said.

Lamar said she thought her blunt advice might have helped Ashley improve her life.

 

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