John Philip Benzing Allegedly Killed Wife Because He Was Angered By Stench From 50 Cats

09/28/2011 01:13 pm ET | Updated Nov 28, 2011

A husband allegedly murdered his wife because he was fed up with the mess and stench from the 50 cats in their San Antonio home, prosecutors claim.

Prosecutors laid out their case that John Philip Benzing, now 61, used a hammer and kitchen knife to kill Leona Benzing, who was 79, because the house was squalid and she had deteriorated physically and mentally, The San Antonio Express News reported.

While his wife napped, Benzing allegedly cracked her head with a hammer, stabbed her twice and then cut her throat.

Benzing has come up with a variety of explanations for his wife's demise. When police arrested Benzing in 2009, he claimed that he and his wife had made a suicide pact, but cops didn't buy his story, according TV station KSAT. He also told authorities that his wife had abused him and in another version, said California bikers slew her in a botched extortion plot, The Express News said.

Neighbors told the station that Leona Benzing had had cancer. In court, the prosecutor claimed that the odor from filthy litter boxes nauseated the husband and was a factor in the alleged murder, The Express News said.

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