Man in prison for sex crimes pleads guilty in murder-for-hire pl - KPTV - FOX 12

Man in prison for sex crimes pleads guilty in murder-for-hire plot of Gladstone woman

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Jason Jaynes, 2012 jail booking photo Jason Jaynes, 2012 jail booking photo
Lynn Benton in court in 2016 (KPTV file image) Lynn Benton in court in 2016 (KPTV file image)
Debbie Higbee-Benton (KPTV file image) Debbie Higbee-Benton (KPTV file image)
GLADSTONE, OR (KPTV) -

A man in prison for multiple sex crimes pleaded guilty for his part in the murder-for-hire plot of a Gladstone woman.

Jason Jaynes, 36, pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the killing of Debbie Higbee-Benton in 2011.

A jury previously found Lynn Benton guilty on charges including aggravated murder and criminal conspiracy for the death of his estranged wife. Benton was sentenced to life in prison without parole in October 2016.

Higbee-Benton was found dead in her Gladstone hair salon on May 29, 2011.

Benton and Higbee-Benton had been married for years before Benton transitioned from a woman to a man, leading to their estrangement, according to investigators.

Prosecutors said Benton hired Susan Campbell and her son, Jaynes, to kill Higbee-Benton.

Prosecutors said Benton, a former Gladstone police sergeant, interfered in a rape investigation involving Jaynes in 1999, and Jaynes was involved in the killing of Higbee-Benton to repay that earlier favor. 

Jaynes is serving 15 years in prison for sex crimes. He was sentenced to 11 years and 8 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit murder Tuesday.

Campbell pleaded guilty to aggravated attempted murder charges in 2012 as part of a plea deal, but a judge vacated that plea last September.

She now has a new plea change hearing set for Friday.

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