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Article published February 26, 2013
Abbott pleads no contest to murder charges
Colin Abbott this afternoon pleaded no contest to two counts of murder — nearly two years after being charged with killing his father and stepmother. The 42-year-old New Jersey man entered his plea before Butler County Judge William Shaffer. In exchange for that plea, the Butler County District Attorney's office agreed to drop its intent to seek convictions of first-degree murder and a death sentence. Instead, prosecutors will recommend a prison sentence of 35 to 80 years when Abbott is sentenced Wednesday. All of the attorneys related to the case refused to comment, citing a court-issued gag order. Prosecutors have long asserted that on June 6 or June 7, 2011, Abbott shot Kenneth Abbott, 65, and Celeste Abbott, 55, then burned and scattered their remains around their 25-acre Brady Township estate. Jury selection in Abbott's trial was set to begin on Monday.