Sex offender accused of murder in Monroe

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EVERETT, Wash. (AP) -- Trial began Tuesday in Everett for a sex offender charged with murder in the strangling death of a woman in Monroe.

Snohomish County prosecutors say 46-year-old Michael Benjamin hit 36-year-old Angela Pettifer over the head with a bottle of hot sauce in the attack in August of last year. She was partially disrobed and prosecutors say genetic evidence linked him to her body.

The Daily Herald reports (http://bit.ly/rpOU83) hot sauce found soaking her hair and clothes was the same brand found in Benjamin's refrigerator.

His defense lawyer disputes the genetic evidence and said Benjamin was accused because of the hot sauce.

Jurors are not expected to hear that Benjamin was convicted in 2006 of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

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Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldnet.com