East Village stabbing victim identified as Navy man

SAN DIEGO —¬†An East Village resident was behind bars Wednesday on suspicion of murdering his husband, an active-duty Navy man, at their downtown apartment on New Year’s Day.

Terry Ray Benson, 27, allegedly stabbed 28-year-old James Hearn at their rental residence in the 600 block of 14th Street shortly before 3:30 a.m. Monday, according to San Diego police.

Before collapsing in a fifth-floor hallway, the victim was able to alert a neighbor, who made a 911 call, Lt. Todd Griffin said.

Hearn died at the scene, despite the efforts of patrol officers and paramedics to keep him alive with CPR.

The motive for the violence remains unknown, according to Griffin.

“That’s the big question,” he said.

Prior to the emergency call, police received no reports of an argument or other type of disturbance at the couple’s apartment near Petco Park on the night of the alleged slaying, Griffin said.

The lieutenant said he did not know how long the suspect and victim had been married.

Hearn, who was stationed at a medical-training base in Texas, had been sent to Southern California to take classes at Naval Medical Center San Diego in Balboa Park, Navy spokesman Brian O’Rourke said. Details on the serviceman’s military duties and rank were not immediately available.

Benson was being held without bail at San Diego Central Jail pending arraignment, scheduled for Thursday afternoon.