Investigators Find Murder Evidence in Suspect’s Trash

Investigators Find Murder Evidence in Suspect's Trash

( – Hollywood movies and television shows love to portray complex murder investigations involving a maze of clues solved by the relentless work of seasoned investigators. However, in the real world, cops sometimes solve cases when killers forget to do something as simple as taking out the trash.

On February 27, 2018, Jessica Devnani received a disturbing phone call from her jealous ex-boyfriend, Gregory Bender. She’d obtained a restraining order against Bender after he relentlessly harassed her and her fiancé, Patrick De La Cerda. After that, Devnani didn’t hear from her ex for months. One day, her fiancé’s father was having trouble getting ahold of him, so she headed over to his home to check on him. Sadly, she discovered De La Cerda’s bullet-ridden body.

Devnani told Detective Chad Weaver of Bender’s relentless harassment of her and her fiancé. His investigation eventually led him to Bender’s ex-wife, Daymara Sanchez. She told him that she found some notes in a spiral notebook belonging to her ex that contained information matching news reports about De La Cerda’s murder.

Detective Weaver used that information to obtain a search warrant for Bender’s home. To his surprise, he quickly discovered those notes crumpled up at the top of a trash can located in the suspect’s home office. Weaver told reporters of his shock at finding Bender’s detailed notes regarding De La Cerda’s murder.

Those notes proved vital to the prosecution’s case against Bender. On May 28, 2021, a jury of his peers convicted him of first-degree murder. His attorneys claim Det. Weaver illegally searched his home and planned to appeal the conviction. In the meantime, he’s currently serving a life sentence without parole.

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