A GLAMOROUSformer ballerina allegedly shot her estranged husband dead during a "domestic argument" in their fraught custody battle.
Ashley Benefield, 28, turned herself in on Wednesday night in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, after cops there developed probable cause for her arrest following a five-week probe.
Deputies were called out to a Central Park home where the former ballet dancer reportedly said she shot Doug Benefield, 59, during a fight on September 27
They were separated and Ashely had been staying at her mother’s home in the neighborhood, while Doug lived elsewhere, according to local media outlets.
But cops found no evidence that Ashley acted in self-defense against her Navy veteran husband.
An arrest affidavit revealed that Doug had his back turned when he was twice struck by a .45 caliber handgun, reported the Braden Herald.
Speaking to WFLA, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Randy Warren said: "We really have to look to make sure there is no evidence she had been abused and that just did not exist in this case.
"We are looking for injuries, we are looking for torn clothing, we are looking for a sign of struggle, things that were inside that residence.
"We got a warrant, we were able to go in, we were able to examine that closely. There was no evidence there that this was an act of self-defense."
The Benefields were feuding over custody of their daughter when the 59-year-old was fatally shot – and Manatee County court records indicated that their domestic issues went back years.
Police said in each of these cases it didn't look as though Ashley was being abused and they couldn't find anything that could have led to her husband's arrest.
The couple established a dance business based in Charleston, South Carolina, called American National Ballet (ANB) with Doug as the CEO and Ashley in the role of Executive Director.
Their organization, which businessman Doug once described as “Uber-izing ballet," reportedly fired half its dancers back in 2017, per Dance Magazine.
Ashley graduated from the Maryland Youth Ballet and is a retired professional ballerina, according to a company description on an ANB Facebook page, which is no longer in use.
Meanwhile, Doug's family were thankful that an arrest was made after his sudden death.
"In this case, it is all evidence-based," said his cousin Tommie Benefield.
"This charge of second-degree murder is all based on nothing but there were only two people in the room, there is no evidence whatsoever, he touched her."
Another relative Tommie Benefield fold WFLA how Doug was "caring, kind, sweet, loving" and said the family felt relief after his wife's arrest.
Ashley was arrested and charged with Second Degree Murder and is being held at the Manatee County Jail, where she turned herself in last week.
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