Las Vegas man accused of murdering girlfriend during argument

Jesus Navarrette
Jesus Navarrette(LVMPD)
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 9:35 AM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - New details have emerged about a Jan. 31 homicide in which a Las Vegas man allegedly killed his girlfriend during an argument.

Jesus Navarrette, 23, is being held without bail on a charge of murder, court records show.

According to an arrest report from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Navarrette called officers around 5:38 p.m. that he and his girlfriend, later identified as Ashley Benitez, had been shot while the pair was in an argument.

Police responded to the couple’s apartment near Coolridge Avenue and South Third Street and located Navarrette, who was outside the residence wearing blood-stained shorts.

Navarrette told officers he had been holding a gun during the argument when it “accidentally went off,” the report states.

The victim, who was found inside the apartment, was pronounced deceased on scene. Clumps of her hair were found throughout the apartment and her body had numerous abrasions to her hands and face, police stated in the report.

Nearby on a mattress, police said officers located a Diamondback AR-15 that had a large amount of what appeared to be Benitez’s hair wrapped around the sights of the rifle.

The round drum magazine for the rifle was found in the corner of the room among “numerous cartridges thrown thru out [sic] the room.”

In an interview with investigators, Navarrette was noted to have numerous scratches along his arms, back, neck and legs, with an abrasion on his head and reddening to his chest and stomach.

Navarrette told police that he and Benitez had begun dating about two years ago and moved in together seven months prior. He told police they had recently been fighting and the victim was upset after she caught him masturbating a month ago.

That night, according to the report, Navarrette said a verbal argument started and he laid down on the bed when she attacked him. He then told police he reached over to move his AR-15 rifle that was on the ground next to the bed.

“He initially told detectives he grabbed his rifle, aimed it at her, and pulled the trigger. Then he elaborated stating when he grabbed the rifle, Ashley also grabbed the rifle,” police stated in the report.

During the struggle over the rifle, he ejected the drum magazine from the well but forgot he had one round in the chamber, according to the report. Navarrette told officers that he pulled the rifle into Benitez’s body when the safety was switched to fire and he shot her.

“You shot me!” he told police the victim responded. Navarrette reported that he then called 911.

His next court date is Feb. 7, records show/