Benito Lendof-Gonzalez was in jail, awaiting trial for allegedly holding his wife captive, strangling her, putting a knife to her throat and telling her he would kill her, when, authorities say, he tried to hire someone to finish the job – and kill a witness too.
Now, the Dominican Republic citizen, is facing additional charges; two counts of first-degree attempted murder, two counts of first-degree attempted murder-contract killing, two counts of second-degree murder, and a single count of second-degree criminal solicitation.
Lendof-Gonzalez, 33, who is living in the Lockport and is in the U.S. legally under a green card, has been in jail since May.
On April 21, he held his wife captive twice, putting a knife to her throat and made threats of a murder-suicide, according to District Attorney Heather A. Sloma. In May, he pleaded not guilty to indictments on charges of strangulation, kidnapping, criminal contempt and unlawful imprisonment, all in the second degree.
In the latest development, Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour said Wednesday that an investigation by the Niagara County Criminal Investigation Bureau revealed that he was trying to arrange the murder of his wife and a witness from the reported April attack.
Lendof-Gonzalez is being held without bail in Niagara County Court. A return court date was set for Sept. 12.