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UPDATES PREVIOUS STORY

A man from unincorporated Fenton has been charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the stabbing death of a Eureka-area woman.

Rebecca Benthal, 28, of the Jefferson County portion of Eureka collapsed near the front door of the Fenton Fire Protection District house, 1620 Smizer Mill Road, at about 6:48 p.m. on Saturday, the St. Louis County Police Department reported.

Benthal, the report said, suffered from multiple stab wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Sunday, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Robert Ward, 37, of unincorporated Fenton with second-degree murder and armed criminal action for allegedly stabbing and killing Benthal.

Ward and Benthal knew each other, the report said.

The second-degree murder charge is a class A felony punishable by 10 to 30 years or life in prison and the armed criminal action charge carries a minimum penalty of three years in prison.

Ward was being held on a $300,000 cash-only bond, according to the report.

According to the probable-cause statement in the case, witnesses saw Ward stab Benthal repeatedly in a vehicle. Ward then allegedly drove away, with the woman still in his vehicle.

Other witnesses said they heard a struggle at the firehouse, the probable-cause statement said.

Another witness later called 911 and reported that Ward came into his home in the 1800 block of Gravois Road in High Ridge covered in blood and said he had stabbed a woman.

Officers with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office responded to the home and found Ward there. He had stabbed himself and called paramedics, who took him to a local hospital, the report said.

Ward was still hospitalized on Monday afternoon, the report said.

The St. Louis County Police Department’s Bureau of Crimes Against Persons is investigating the case.

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