NewsPinellas County

Actions

Clearwater police: Man wanted for first-degree murder likely using alias

arthur-benjamin-jr.jpg
Posted at 11:16 PM, May 06, 2021

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Police are searching for a convicted felon who they say is responsible for killing a man in Clearwater.

Investigators say the body of Kerry Washington was found behind a building at the Palmetto Park Apartments Saturday, May 1.

This week, police filed an arrest warrant for first-degree murder for Arthur Benjamin Jr.

Police say Benjamin also uses the alias, Hadeeka Shabazz.

Benjamin has an extensive criminal history, convicted of several violent crimes in Pinellas County.

"I kind of feel like the sunshine of our family is gone," said Shaterra Washington.

Washington tells ABC Action News her uncle, Kerry, was like a loving parent.

"I don’t know no one that lived their truth more than my uncle. He never shied away from who he was. He was always comfortable with himself and his skin," she said.

Family members say Benjamin and Washington were in a relationship for years.

Loved ones are now calling on Benjamin to turn himself into police.

"Man up. Don’t be a coward," said Shaterra. "He can’t even show his face in this community anymore and that just goes to speak volumes of how much everyone loved my uncle."

If you have any helpful information, call the Clearwater Police Department at (727) 562-4242.