Life in Prison: DNA from “Pineapple” Hat Helps Conviction

Benjamin Monroe Allen, 23, was convicted of Second Degree Murder with a Firearm following a three day trial in Lee County. He was immediately sentenced to serve life in prison for the crime.

Allen and the 23 year old victim had been in a relationship. In June 2016 the victim was staying at a friend’s home in Fort Myers hiding from Allen because he was angry with her. Multiple witnesses at trial testified about hearing Allen threaten to kill the victim.

Leading up to the crime, Allen and the victim had been in contact via cellphone. That night Allen went to the friend’s home, pulled the victim out of the house and shot and killed her. He then fled the scene on foot.

When Fort Myers Police officers arrived they found the victim dead on the back porch. Near the body there was a unique hat with pineapples on it. At trial, another officer testified that this was the same hat the defendant was wearing two days prior when he was trespassed from another location. DNA from the hat also later came back to match the defendant.

Witnesses testified at trial that after the shooting Allen tried to borrow bleach from someone he knew and while asking for the bleach had blood on his shirt.

Three days after the murder Allen was apprehended by U.S. Marshalls in Miami. Assistant State Attorney Sara Miller of our Homicide Unit prosecuted the case.

Samantha Syoen
Communications Director
State Attorney’s Office