Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

January 12, 2013

Teen faces murder charge

Accused in student’s death

VALDOSTA — Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents arrested a suspect in the November 2012 death of a Valdosta State University student, authorities announced Friday.

Darien Joseph Meheux, 18, is charged with murder in the case of VSU freshman Jasmine Benjamin, 17, according to a GBI statement.

Meheux and Benjamin had dated in the past, said GBI Agent Steven Turner. Meheux was a VSU student last semester, according to authorities.

Meheux surrendered late Thursday night to the Schley County Sheriff’s Office in Ellaville, according to the GBI’s regional office in Thomasville.

“Meheux turned himself into the sheriff’s office after being made aware of a murder warrant which had been taken for him for the death of Jasmine Benjamin,” according to the GBI. “Officers with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Valdosta State University Police Department, Valdosta Police Department and

 Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search for Meheaux in Gwinnett County but then Meheaux surfaced in Ellaville.”

The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office

transferred Meheux Friday to the Lowndes County Jail, according to the Valdosta Police Department. Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine confirmed Friday evening that Meheux is in the Lowndes County Jail.

At approximately noon Sunday, Nov. 18, Benjamin was found unresponsive on a fifth-floor study room couch in VSU’s Georgia Hall, according to past reports.

Other students had reportedly seen Benjamin in the study room at approximately midnight the previous evening. Finding her in the same room approximately 12 hours later, students approached her and realized she was unresponsive. They unsuccessfully attempted CPR.

On Friday, the GBI cited the cause of Benjamin’s death as asphyxiation.

VSU initially was unable to reach the student’s family to notify them of the loss. Gwinnett County law enforcement were unable to reach the family before relatives learned of Benjamin’s death through Facebook posts.

The murder warrant was the result of an “extensive homicide investigation” by the GBI, VSU police and Valdosta police.

Valdosta Police Cmdr. Brian Childress said the arrest was the result of a good team effort between officers of the GBI, VPD and VSU. Childress said he received the call at approximately 1 a.m. Friday that Meheux was in custody.

The GBI’s Thomasville office continues its investigation.

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