Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Police: Woman Shot Boyfriend So He Wouldn’t Leave Her

Arline Lawless, 25. Police photo.

Arline Lawless, 25, has been at the  Spring Harbor treatment center in Westbrook, Me., since the July 23 death of her boyfriend, 34-year-old Norman Benner. Maine State Police say Lawless (also known as Arline Seavey) shot Benner in the back of the head while he was sleeping, and then shot herself in the face. Benner died, but Lawless’s injuries were not lethal. Benner’s sister called police, who arrived to find Lawless bleeding and disoriented.

Benner’s sister and mother told police that prior to the shooting, Lawless sent Benner several text messages claiming that she was afraid of their landlord. Benner’s family believe that the texts were intended to make Benner come home because Lawless suspected he was having an affair and was going to break up with her.  Benner’s family say that he did, in fact, plan to end the relationship. In an interview, Lawless allegedly told police that she shot Benner because he was going to leave her.

Lawless was arrested and charged with murder after being released from the treatment center Wednesday.

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