Thursday is the day an Illinois man will find out if he’ll spend the rest of his life in prison for killing the rest of his family in their southeast Iowa home. The judge who presided over this month’s trial of 23-year-old Shawn Bentler has announced he’ll deliver his decision this Thursday at 11 o’clock in the Van Buren County Courthouse.
Bentler is accused of shooting his parents and three teenaged sisters to death last October in the family’s home in Bonaparte. The tape of the 9-1-1 call his youngest sister made was played at the trial. Her last words on the call were, "Shawn, don’t!" Gunshots could be heard on the recording. Prosecutors revealed that Bentler stood to inherit three million dollars if the rest of his family died.
Bentler testified in his own defense during his trial. He waived his right to trial by jury and the judge must deliver a written verdict. Bentler faces life in prison without the possibly of parole if convicted of the murders.