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2:43 AM Wed, Feb. 20th

Double-homicide case will go forward with new judge

KINGMAN ­ A change-of-judge motion filed Wednesday morning in a double-homicide case has taken Mohave County Superior Court Judge Steven F. Conn off the case and replaced him with Judge James Chavez.

Conn said Wednesday that Chavez will preside over all future proceedings for Robert Ronald "Bull" Benjamin, 43, of Golden Valley, including a request for an investigator. Benjamin entered a not-guilty plea in Mohave County Superior Court in July to two Class 1 felony first-degree murder charges, one count of felony theft of means of transportation, one felony count of theft and a felony theft of a weapon.

Defense Attorney Daniel Dirienzo of Prescott Valley and the Mohave County Public Defender's Office is representing Benjamin, who was arrested on June 22. Benjamin is being held in the Mohave County Jail on charges related to the shooting deaths of Andrea Lynn Eklund, 34, and Robert Al Reichenbacker, 44, both of Kingman. The couple were found dead of gunshot wounds in the early morning hours of June 20 at a residence in the 4500 block of Marilyn Drive. Witnesses told investigators they had seen Benjamin at the residence prior to the 1:47 a.m. call of gunshots that sent deputies and Kingman Police officers to the scene.

Hoover Dam Police detained Benjamin at the dam as he attempted to cross from Nevada into Arizona. If Benjamin is found guilty of the two first-degree murder charges, he could be sentenced to death, natural life or life, which requires at least 25 calendar years in the Department of Corrections. Any other guilty verdicts would add more penalties.

Benjamin's next court appearance has not been announced pending Chavez setting a date.