Uber driver shoots passenger to death after his boyfriend vomits in the car and they argue about clean-up fee
An Uber driver shot and killed a New Mexico passenger on St Patrick's Day after his boyfriend threw up in the car. The driver, Clayton Benedict, got into a heated argument with the passenger over 'a large amount of vomit' in the car.
According to court papers which were submitted by the Bernalillo County District attorney last week, the amount of puke and also a disagreement about the cleaning fee resulted in the fatal shooting of passenger James Porter. The police have revealed that Benedict killed Porter after stopping on a highway in Albuquerque on March 17.
Three months later, Benedict has not been charged in the murder. District Attorney spokesman Michael Patrick shared with the Albuquerque Journal that a charging decision was likely to come in the next few weeks. "Prosecutors are currently going over hundreds of documents and videos," Patrick shared.
Benedict had picked up Porter and his boyfriend Jonathan Reyes from a bar on St. Patrick's Day as per a search warrant affidavit which sought details from Uber about the driver's whereabouts and other information. Reyes shared with the police that he and Porter had been at the bar since 2 pm and that he doesn't usually drink much but had around 6-7 drinks on that day.
Benedict shared with detectives that they were traveling south on Interstate 25 when Reyes had thrown up in the car. "At this point, the other passenger and Clayton start to go back and forth about a potential clean-up fee. James is the male arguing/pleading with Clayton not to charge him for a clean-up fee," the detective wrote in the affidavit.
As the argument got heated, Benedict said that he had pulled over and asked the two to get out. He said that he had ended the ride and had also given Porter a review of one star. He further added that Porter then slammed the door, threw his sunglasses, and hat at the driver and the two continued to argue outside the car.
Benedict shared that Porter was yelling and started to move towards the open driver's side and threatened to run Benedict over with his own car after which the Uber driver fired "an unknown amount of rounds" at 27-year-old Porter who collapsed with two gunshot wounds under his left armpit. Porter's family sued Uber and Benedict last month and complained that the driver's "actions were intentional, reckless and malicious such that an award of punitive damages against Benedict is justified."
Uber released a statement saying that Benedict no longer had any access to the Uber app and was no longer a driver for them. According to Porter's obituary, he is survived by his partner, his parents, step-parents and four siblings.
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