Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Concord, CA: Concord man's death goes from natural to murder, girlfriend arrested

By Robert Salonga,
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 01/25/2012 12:33:02 PM PST
Updated: 01/25/2012 01:11:28 PM PST

What appeared to be the natural death of a Concord man in November is now being treated as a homicide, with his girlfriend as the suspect, police said.
Concord resident Dava Alizabeth-Ann Steen, 41, was charged Tuesday with the murder of her boyfriend Danny Ray Bennett, 47, also of Concord.
Bennett died Nov. 25 at the Wren Avenue home he shared with Steen, his longtime girlfriend. Police and Contra Costa Fire District personnel were summoned to the home after getting reports Bennett had stopped breathing.
Efforts to resuscitate Bennett were unsuccessful, and after authorities verified Steen's claims that Bennett had a history of serious health problems, his death was attributed to natural causes.
That remained the case until last week, when on Jan. 17 police got a tip claiming that Steen actually killed Bennett. Investigators vetted the tip and gathered evidence supporting allegations that Steen suffocated Bennett during a fight, police said.
Last Friday, police arrested Steen and served a search warrant at her home where they collected additional evidence in the case, police said. Detectives presented a murder case to the District Attorney's Office on Tuesday, and charges were filed the same day.
Steen is being held in West County Jail in Richmond on $1 million bail. Concord originally recorded six homicides last year, so Bennett's death retroactively becomes the seventh of 2011.
Police released no further details about

the killing, citing the sensitivity of the investigation.
Anyone with information about this case can contact Detective Greg Pardella at 925-603-5922 or the Concord police tip line at 925-603-5836.
Robert Salonga covers public safety. Contact him at 925-943-8013. Follow him at

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