Police dept. fires sergeant who is linked to murder

Police dept. fires sergeant who is linked to murder
Lynn Benton

GLADSTONE, Ore. – Lynn Benton, the Gladstone Police sergeant who has been tied to a murder-for-hire plot, has been fired from the department for an issue not related to the murder case.

Police Chief Jim Pryde made the announcement on Wednesday after a closed-door meeting about her employment status on Tuesday.

Even though court testimony by a police detective tied Benton to a murder-for-hire plot, Pryde said her termination from the Gladstone Police Department stems from an unrelated issue.

“With the assistance of the Milwaukie Police Department and the Portland Police Bureau, we initiated an investigation 4 months ago into two serious allegations against Lynn Benton, not related to the murder investigation regarding Debbie Higbee. At the conclusion of the internal investigation on December 12th, the allegations against Lynn Benton were sustained,” he said in a statement.

Pryde said he could not elaborate on the details, citing the fact it was a personnel matter.

A woman named Susan Campbell, who was described as a close friend of Benton’s, has been charged in the shooting death of Debbie Higbee. Higbee is Benton’s estranged spouse.

A detective working that case testified at a pre-trial hearing that Benton agreed to pay Campbell $2,000 to “kill or have killed Debbie Higbee.”

As of Wednesday morning, Benton has not been arrested or charged with a crime related to the case.