Third arrest made in murder of Gladstone beauty salon owner

Third arrest made in murder of Gladstone beauty salon owner
Jason Jay Jaynes

PORTLAND, Ore. - A third person has been arrested in connection with an alleged murder-for-hire plot that left the wife of a former Gladstone police officer dead.

Jason Jay Jaynes, 32, is facing one count of attempted aggravated murder and two counts of criminal conspiracy of a felony. Bail has been set at $250,000.

Jaynes is the biological son of 54-year-old Susan Campbell, who is already in custody in connection with the case.

Also in custody is 50-year-old Lynn Edward Benton, a former police sergeant with the Gladstone Police Department.

The story began in May of 2011 when Benton's wife, Deborah Higbee-Benton, was found dead in her beauty salon. An autopsy found she had been shot, beaten and strangled.

Investigators believe Benton agreed to pay Campbell $2,000 to murder his wife. An indictment claims that Benton actually tried to hire Campbell and her son twice for the job - once in November 2010 and then again in April 2011.

Campbell, who was a caretaker for Benton's mother, was arrested days after the death and has remained in jail since then without bail.

Detectives interviewed Benton last year but he was not arrested until this week and now Campbell's son, Jaynes, has been added to the list of alleged conspirators.

Jaynes did, at one time, live in Gladstone but shortly after the homicide he moved to Seaside, where he has been living with an aunt. However, he was arrested this week during a traffic stop in Gladstone. His arraignment is scheduled for Friday.

Sources tell KATU that as part of an agreement with the district attorney, Campbell implicated her son in a previous plot to kill Higbee-Benton.

"She is cooperating fully," Campbell's lawyer said. "She has an agreement and the state expects her to live up to it, which she will do."

Benton had worked with the Gladstone Police Department for almost 25 years before being fired last year on unrelated matters. Police Chief Jim Pryde said Benton had viewed pornographic material on a work computer and fraudulently married a Brazilian immigrant in 1993 so the man could obtain citizenship.

Benton was born Lynne Irene Benton and underwent a female-to-male sex change operation in 2010, just before he married Higbee-Benton.