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Placer Sentinel

Tinder Killer Sentenced To 71 Years To Life In Prison

ROSEVILLE, CA (MPG) – Today, the Honorable Judge Penney sentenced Damon Allen Benson, age 31, to 71 years to life in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as it relates to a horrific love triangle murder plot in 2021. 

This case involves three individuals who met separately on Tinder which resulted in jealousy, the torture of a vulnerable female victim and ended in the murder of one of the men involved in the love triangle.  

Specifically, in Aug. 2021, it was found that the defendant had held the victim against her will at his apartment after being extensively tortured on multiple occasions. One form of torture to the victim was the carving of a Swastika into her back while being tied to his ceiling with a rope. The victim is of Jewish decent. During the investigation, it was found that Benson tortured his victim to ultimately get the address to murder her other lover.

After an extensive investigation by the Rocklin Police Department, the Placer County District Attorney’s Office filed multiple charges of murder, aggravated mayhem, torture, felony criminal threats, false imprisonment by violence and more.

The investigation found that Benson ultimately ambushed the male victim in his home and killed him in his room before fleeing the scene. While the defendant tried to claim his actions were in self-defense, surveillance footage shows otherwise. Surveillance shows Benson running into the victim’s home in the middle of the night, followed by immediate gunfire and Benson running out of the home yelling “That’s right, [expletive]”. This, among many other factors, led the jury to decide that Benson murdered the victim with premeditation and intent in September 2023.   

The guilty verdict came after the jury heard extensive testimony from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, a Placer County District Attorney Investigator assigned to the case, the female victim, among other witnesses.

“This is a day for justice for the victim and the victim’s family,” said Supervising Deputy District Attorney Jeffery Moore. “We recognize this verdict will not bring [the victim] back and that we cannot undo what this defendant has done to their family. We are humbled to provide justice for this horrific crime to the greatest extent our laws allow. The defendant shows a clear danger to the public and a callous disregard for human life. Removing Benson from society is the only way to ensure he doesn’t victimize anyone again.”

Many of the murder victim’s family members and loved ones gave victim impact statements and one read a quote from Dr. Cornel West stating that “Justice is what love looks like in public”.  

Anyone who is experiencing domestic violence in any form should consider the dangers to themselves and others, as well as the larger implications of domestic violence. Learn more about options at www.placer.ca.gov/DVPortal
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