The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of an Illinois man who was found guilty of killing his family in their southeast Iowa home. Shawn Bentler was found guilty of five counts of first degree murder for shooting his mother, father and three sisters to death in the family home near Bonaparte. He’s been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.
Bentler’s attorneys appealed his conviction, though, arguing a pair of socks Bentler was wearing at the time of his arrest shouldn’t have been admitted as evidence at his trial. Two drops of his mother’s blood were found on the socks. At his trial, Bentler’s attorney said the blood could have gotten on the socks while Bentler’s mother was doing his laundry.
His attorneys now say Bentler’s fourth amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure had been violated when Illinois authorities gave Iowa investigators those socks. Bentler was arrested near his home in Quincy, Illinois, and Illinois authorities turned over all the clothing Bentler had been wearing. The Iowa Court of Appeals has rejected their arguments about the socks and upheld Bentler’s conviction.