CBS’ ’48 Hours: The Ring: The Murder of Patrick De La Cerda’ is an episode that chronicles the brutal homicide of a 25-year-old Deltona, Florida, resident right at his doorstep in February 2018. Patrick hoped to start a new chapter of his life alongside Jessica Devnani, yet vain anger and jealousy from one of her former boyfriends turned his whole world upside down. After all, mad at the fact that she was happily moving on, Gregory Bender devised and executed Patrick’s killing. So now, if you wish to know more about him and his current whereabouts, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Gregory Bender?
Back in early 2018, Gregory Bender was a 50-year-old hedge fund manager from Windermere who considered Patrick De La Cerda his romantic rival. He had been seeing Jessica, a woman nearly two decades his younger, for a while, and his wife had recently filed for divorce, which a judge granted. Thus, when the former chose to leave him and got with Patrick, he grew enraged, leading him to start stalking, harassing, and threatening them. The new couple subsequently requested separate restraining orders against him, but Patrick’s motion was denied, ultimately changing everything.
Early in the morning of February 27, 2018, Gregory reached Patrick’s house under the pretense of delivering a package, so when the latter came to the door, he simply opened fire. From there, he reportedly got rid of the home surveillance tapes and made his getaway before deciding to get in touch with Jessica once again. This breaking of injunction led the young woman to find her partner’s body, call the police, and lead them straight to Gregory. The fact that a search of his lavish property yielded weapons and other evidence didn’t help either. He was arrested and charged with court order violation before the murder count came to light.
Where is Gregory Bender Now?
During their initial investigation itself, detectives had deemed the homicide personal because of the evident anger and passion at the crime scene; hence, Gregory’s involvement fit. They also recovered a blue-spiral notebook from his home, where he’d planned Patrick’s killing in complete detail and noted down facts about his house and pet dog, implying that he’d stalked him for a while. From changing clothes and license plates to using burner phones and house equipment in the process, he’d listed it all. The only difference was that his initial plan incorporated drugs rather than a rifle, but it didn’t make a difference.
Because the intention and motive were there, the prosecutors brought these aspects to court. They also argued that even though officials never uncovered the murder weapon, they had found similar shell casings and several firearms on Gregory’s estate despite the fact that his permit for having weapons had expired in 2016. The defense contended that every bit of this information was circumstantial evidence and the plot in the notepad was mere fantasy.
Yet, because Gregory never testified for himself or showed any emotions, it took the jury just two short hours to find him guilty of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole soon after. Therefore, at the age of 54, Gregory D. Bender is currently incarcerated at the Blackwater River Correctional Facility, a private state prison in Milton, Santa Rosa County, Florida. It’s expected for him to spend the rest of his natural life behind bars.
Read More: Where is Jessica Devnani Now?