Mahaffey Woman Charged with First-Degree Murder

CLEARFIELD, Pa. (GANT) — A Mahaffey woman facing first-degree murder charges waived her preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

(Article by our news partners at GantDaily.com.

Kayce Marie Lee, 31, is accused of killing 57-year-old Richard Bennett, of Mahaffey, during a domestic dispute, according to Punxsutawney-based State Police.

Lee is charged with the following offenses:

  • First Degree Murder
  • Aggravated Assault, Felony 2
  • Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 2
  • Harassment, Summary

Lee is being held without bail in the Clearfield County Jail.

Police said the incident occurred around 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, February 4, at a Ridge Road residence in Bell Township, Clearfield County.

Bennett was found outside the residence.

The state police investigation revealed Lee and Bennett were involved in a domestic disturbance that became physical. During the fight, police say Lee grabbed a steak knife and stabbed Bennett in the chest.

Bennett was later found dead a short distance from the residence.

According to a published article on gantdaily.com, state police were called to the Bell Township residence on Sunday evening to try to locate Bennett after he had been last seen around 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, February 4.

Troopers found Bennett around 11:43 p.m. dead on the lawn near the home.

Lee later admitted to stabbing Bennett in a state police interview.

Lee said she, Bennett, and their daughter had shopped in the Clearfield area the afternoon of Saturday, February 3, before returning home between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Lee said she had a few shots of whiskey while Bennett later finished the bottle and then passed out before waking up around 12:30 a.m.

Lee said she could tell Bennett was very agitated and started to argue with her because the child wasn’t in bed yet. Lee then took the child up to her bedroom, but after a short time, the room became “smoky” and very hot from the couple’s use of a coal stove heater due to a frozen gas line.

Lee said when she and the child returned to the downstairs, Bennett started yelling again that the girl should be in bed. She said was holding their daughter when Bennett tried to pull her away.

Lee said Bennett slapped her on the head, and afterward, they began exchanging obscenities.

Lee then went to the kitchen and told Bennett that she was going to call for help and leave. She said Bennett then slapped her on the head again.

Lee said she couldn’t find her phone, and Bennett blocked her from leaving the home. She said he pushed and punched her and then she grabbed a knife from the kitchen counter. Lee said Bennett continued to block the door and then hit her, knocking her glasses off her face and causing her dentures to come out of her mouth.

Lee told police she made a stabbing motion with the knife but wasn’t sure where she’d stabbed Bennett.

Lee said she and the child left, and she dropped her daughter off before returning to the home. She said she couldn’t find Bennett and then left to go to a family member’s residence. After waking up, she said she called Bennett’s family to see if anyone had any contact with him.

She then went back to their residence around 6:00 p.m. on Sunday to see if he’d shown up there, but she couldn’t find him.

Lee told state police that said she cleaned up small areas of Bennett’s blood on the kitchen floor. She made more calls to family and to the hospital before calling 911 for help finding him.

When state police pointed out that Bennett was found a short distance away from their residence, Lee maintained that she never saw him lying on the lawn between the swing set and the driveway.

According to the criminal complaint, she would have driven right by Bennett’s body on at least three occasions.

Lee then admitted that she stabbed him harder than she had initially indicated.

State police interviewed a man in the course of their investigation. The man told police about a month ago, Bennett had come to his residence with several stab wounds to his arm and was covered in blood. The man said Bennett told him Lee had also attempted to stab him in the chest.

In another police interview, a woman said she’d seen past injuries to Bennett, which he told her were caused by Lee.


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