A 22-year-old man faces five counts of murder for allegedly shooting his family to death in their southeast Iowa home this weekend.
It happened just outside the small town of Bonaparte. Fifty-three-year-old Michael Bentler, his 47-year-old wife and their three teenage daughters were found shot to death in their home. Authorities say the 911 call they received from the home indicates the oldest child in the family was the shooter.
At about 3:30 on Saturday morning, authorities received a call from the youngest girl in the family, asking for help because her brother was “going to do something.” Another voice can be heard on the 911 recording saying “Shawn, don’t” at the same time a gunshot is heard. Another shout of “Shawn, don’t do it” comes down the line, before the phone goes dead.
Twenty-two-year-old Shawn Michael Bentler was arrested in Quincy, Illinois, later Saturday and held on drug charges. On Sunday afternoon, authorities announced Bentler has been charged with five counts of first degree murder. Iowa Department of Public Safety spokesman James Saunders says the 22-year-old is the only suspect in the case.
The Bentlers owned a lumberyard in Mount Hamill, which is near Bonaparte. The three teenage girls were students at Harmony High School. School will be held Monday, but grief counselors will be in the school to talk with students and their parents about the murders.
(Thanks to KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids)