CLEARFIELD – A Mahaffey woman accused of murder has agreed to plead guilty.
Kayce Marie Lee, 31, was charged by state police in February with murder, involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment for the stabbing death of Richard Bennett, who was found dead just 30 feet from their Mahaffey home.
Lee signed a plea agreement on Thursday during a pre-trial conference, according to court documents. She is scheduled to be sentenced in October.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, police received a call at 7:40 p.m. Feb. 4, reporting that Bennett had not been seen since 1 a.m. that morning when he left his home following an argument with Lee. She told police she may have stabbed him prior to him fleeing on foot.
When troopers arrived at the home at 11:43 p.m., they discovered the victim lying approximately 30 feet from the home. He was deceased.
He was reportedly clothed in only a long-sleeve thermal shirt and briefs with no footwear of any type.
In an interview with police, Lee admitted she stabbed the victim during an argument.
She recalled that after returning home from shopping, she drank a few shots of whiskey and Bennett drank the rest of the bottle before passing out in a chair in the living room.
When he awoke, she stated that he “was a totally different person” and she could tell “by the look in his eyes” that he was very agitated. The two began arguing because their daughter was not in bed yet.
She went upstairs with the girl to watch a movie but when they returned downstairs, he began yelling at her again about their daughter being awake.
Lee told police during the following argument, Bennett slapped her twice in the head.
With the intention of scaring him, she retrieved a knife from the block on the counter. He smacked her in the face so hard, it knocked her glasses off and her dentures flew out of her mouth, she said.
She made a stabbing motion with the knife, but she wasn’t sure where she stabbed him, but by the time she picked up her glasses and dentures, he was gone, she told investigators.
She looked out the door and yelled for him, but he didn’t answer and she didn’t see him anywhere.
Because she feared the victim would come back with a gun, she took her daughter to her grandmother’s house. She then returned to the residence but claimed she was still unable to locate the victim.
She returned to her grandmother’s residence and slept there. When she awoke, she called around to see if any of his family members had seen the victim.
At approximately 6 p.m., she went back to the home, but again Lee said she was unable to find him. While there she cleaned up some of the blood on the kitchen floor.
After returning to her grandmother’s home, she stated she made more phone calls to the family and the hospital.
When confronted by police with that fact that he had only walked 30 feet from the home before collapsing and dying, she maintained she never saw the victim lying between the swing set and driveway, even though she would have driven directly passed him on at least three occasions.
When she was told the victim was stabbed directly in the chest, she conceded that she had stabbed him “a little harder” than she originally said.
The troopers checked Lee for injuries. The only injury seen was a small scratch on the left side of her neck, which did not appear to be related to any type of assault. There were also several small scratches on her hands, which she attributed to carrying firewood.
A witness told police that he has known the couple for years. About a month prior, Bennett arrived at his residence with injuries to his right arm. This witness said Bennett was covered in blood and he observed multiple stab marks.
When the witness asked what happened, Bennett said Lee had stabbed his arm with a knife and tried to stab him in the chest.
Another witness said she previously saw Bennett with scratches to his neck and face and with a black eye last summer that he said they were caused by Lee.