Gruesome details in murder

A 23-year-old Kensington man confessed that a June 30 fight with his girlfriend led him to smoke crack cocaine, punch her in the face “10 times … maybe more,” stab her 59 times with a switch-blade, stuff her body in a trash can he bought at Home Depot (post-killing) and drive a rented U-Haul to dump her body in a wooded area behind his parents’ Hackettstown, N.J., home, according to a statement read in court yesterday.

Stephen Benford was held for trial in connection with the brutal murder of Gina Schickling, 22, the girlfriend who he briefly lived with on Kensington Avenue. His confession — “She was crying, but stopped really quickly” — led authorities to Schickling’s body six days later.
Benford allegedly told detectives that after putting his dead girlfriend into a trash can, he “just hung out and got high since I didn’t have anything else to do.”

Assistant District Attorney Jodi Lobel catalogued the dead art student’s injuries, including a fractured skull and stab wounds on her neck, shoulder and groin.

Her relatives were in court but didn’t want to comment. Benford, who has what appears to be a lightning bolt tattoo where a sideburn would grow, showed little emotion but glanced back at the family several times. Defense attorney Francis Carmen declined comment.

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