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UC Irvine graduate student Brian Hughes Benedict, 35, shot his 30-year-old ex-wife Rebecca Benedict during a custody exchange of the couple's 4-year-old son around 7 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot outside graduate student apartments at 4200 Verano Place, Irvine, police say.
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The woman later died at a local hospital to become the first ever homicide on the UCI campus.
Police say Rebecca Benedict, who had custody of the child, went to her ex's apartment to pick up her son after a scheduled visitation. An argument broke out, and she was shot several times with a handgun while walking to the parking lot, according to police.
The boy was close to his mother but unharmed physically. His father was held by neighbors until police arrived within minutes. Brian Benedict was booked into Orange County Jail and held in lieu of $1 million bail.
The Orange County Register today reports that a judge issued a ruling Thursday in the couple's divorce case that apparently would have forced Brian Benedict to drop out of school to earn more to pay child support. The paper goes to to say the judge referenced a recent suicide attempt by Brian Benedict.