Cleveland man stabbed to death, ex-girlfriend claims self-defense

Cleveland man stabbed to death, ex-girlfriend claims self-defense
Garfield Heights stabbing (Source: WOIO)

GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - Denee Carson says it started when her ex-boyfriend, 48-year-old Ben Cooper, knocked on her door Friday evening to get money for fixing her car.

"That's when the beating started and I ran to the basement," says Denee. "I said, 'Stop, stop, stop.'"

She claims he kicked open the bathroom door and almost threw her through the wall. She ran to her bedroom, where he held her for an hour, and it ended in the living room after she grabbed a knife from the kitchen.

“He lunged and I (makes slashing movement) but I didn’t know.,” she said about the fatal stab wound to the chest, choking back tears. “He said, ‘Oh baby, oh baby.’”

She says she and Cooper had a four-and-a-half-year relationship that ended three months ago although they were talking about getting back together. Carson claims she hid the violent nature of their relationship from everyone, including her twin sister.

“I didn’t know the situation,” said Voyice Clark. “She hid it.”

Carson claims Cooper's jealous outbursts caused her to get a restraining order against him although Garfield Heights police did not confirm that, only releasing "after a preliminary investigation she was released while investigators attempt (to) verify her self-defense claims."

Carson says it's a double tragedy, both for Cooper and for her.

“I’m not going to lie,” she said. “I still love that man.”

Carson says she wants this tragedy to help other women get help before their situation turns deadly.

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