New details emerge in case of teen who claimed sleepwalking defense in twin's fatal 2021 stabbing

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Thursday, May 16, 2024
Teen claims he was asleep when he stabbed twin sister to death
The 17-year-old claims he woke up in his sister's bedroom with a knife in her neck and realized he wasn't dreaming.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- New developments have come out in the case of Benjamin Elliot, a 17-year-old accused of stabbing his twin sister to death in September 2021.

The video above is from the initial report.

ABC13 obtained a search warrant filed for Benjamin's iPhone, which stated he was reportedly sleepwalking when he stabbed his sister, Meghan Elliot, in the neck. He is charged with murder.

Investigators found two notes on the phone. One was titled "survival/hiking," with items listed that would be used during that time, such as a waterproof bag, a knife, and a mess kit. The second note was titled "Personality test" and linked to the test results.

Several text messages between Benjamin and his sister were found by investigators a week prior to the murder.

In the warrant, officials said they could determine whether Benjamin was in control of his mental and physical faculties due to his device activity leading up to the murder.

On Sept. 29, 2021, Harris County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the 4100 block of Brown Meadow Court and discovered Benjamin performing CPR on Meghan.

Documents read that Benjamin verbally identified himself while on the phone with 911, saying that he killed his sister by stabbing her in the neck. In court, the suspect claimed that he woke up between 2:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. after scrolling on Reddit the night before and realized he was in his sister's room across the hall.

According to officials, Benjamin used an "Air Force survival knife." Records said that Benjamin turned on the light and realized what he was doing after hearing the victim make a noise described as a "half-scream."

Court documents said the suspect placed the knife down and tried to stop the bleeding by placing a pillow on the wound. Afterward, he ran to his room about 10 seconds later and grabbed his cell phone to call 911, in which he was instructed on how to perform life-saving measures.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. According to an autopsy report, Meghan suffered two stab wounds to the neck.

A bloody knife, a leather knife sheath, and blood swabs from an entry wall, a bedroom, and a living room were recovered from the scene.

Records state that Benjamin said in court that he did not have any history of drug or alcohol use, nor had he suffered from any sleep disorders.

In a recorded interview with law enforcement, Benjamin asked the investigator if he had ever experienced a "realistic nightmare where everything felt real." Documents state that Benjamin said it was like "a dream, and then I stabbed her."

Benjamin also said in the interview that his twin sister, with whom he had a good relationship, told him that he had sleepwalked the year prior.

A sleepwalking defense is not common but not unheard of. Officials said Benjamin would have a long road ahead if he continued with the defense, which his attorneys were last heard of working on.

Benjamin was arrested and taken to the Harris County Jail, where he was placed on a $100,000 bond.