Ex-Arkansas State star arrested for allegedly killing pregnant girlfriend

 March 16, 2024

A former Arkansas State football player found himself under arrest Thursday night, facing allegations linked to the tragic demise of his pregnant girlfriend.

Blaise Taylor, presently employed as a staffer at Texas A&M, stands accused of administering a substance that led to the death of Jade Benning, along with her unborn child.

The details

Benning's medical emergency unfolded on February 25 of the preceding year, prompting Taylor to summon emergency assistance and report a suspected allergic reaction.

“Taylor, 27, was arrested by Deputy U.S. Marshals at the request of MNPD in Utah after a grand jury indictment,” according to WSMV-TV, Breitbart News reported.

Benning's deteriorating condition prevented her from communicating with authorities before her passing, as detailed by ESPN. Tragically, Benning, who was five months pregnant at the time, succumbed on March 6, coinciding with her 25th birthday. The alleged incident took place in Nashville.

With the loss of the unborn child, Taylor faces two first-degree murder charges. Investigators believe Taylor to be the biological father of the unborn child.

Taylor's background

Taylor's apprehension in Utah by U.S. Marshals followed an indictment issued by Nashville police. Taylor had previously held a position with the Tennessee Titans.

Taylor's collegiate tenure at Arkansas State showcased his prowess as a four-year starting player, where he still holds records for punt return yards (1,151) and pass breakups (30). Each year of his collegiate career saw him return a punt for a touchdown, with an additional kickoff return touchdown during his sophomore season in 2015.

Taylor's accolades extend to being named a Second-Team All-Sun Belt return specialist in 2014 and 2016, coupled with three instances of being honored as the conference's Special Teams Player of the Week throughout his collegiate tenure.

The reactions

Post-graduation, Taylor transitioned into roles as an analyst for college programs and an NFL scout. Additionally, his father, Trooper Taylor, recently joined Texas A&M's coaching staff as associate head coach alongside Mike Elko, assuming the role of running backs coach.

The gravity of Taylor's situation resonates deeply within both the sports and legal spheres. His arrest and the circumstances surrounding it serve as a somber reminder of the complexities and challenges intertwined with issues of justice and personal tragedy.

As legal proceedings unfold, the football community, alongside the broader public, awaits further developments with a sense of solemn reflection on the profound impact of such events.

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Thomas Jefferson
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