Ethan Orton sentenced to life for killing his parents

Ethan Orton during his sentencing hearing for the murder of his parents (YouTube screenshots)

Ethan Orton during his sentencing hearing for the murders of his parents (YouTube screenshots)

A 19-year-old man in Iowa will spend at least half a century behind bars for stabbing both of his parents with a Bowie knife – killing his father – and then using an ax to finish off his mother when he realized she had survived the initial stab wound.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Ian Thornhill on Monday ordered Ethan Orton to serve life in prison with the possibility of parole after 50 years, authorities confirmed to Law&Crime.

Judge Thornhill technically sentenced Orton to two life sentences – one for each of his parents – but elected to have the teenager serve them simultaneously.

Orton pleaded guilty in February to two counts of first-degree murder in the gruesome 2021 murders of his parents, Misty Scott-Slade and Casey Orton. While Iowa state law generally requires first-degree murder convictions to come with mandatory sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole, Orton was a minor — just five months shy of his 18th birthday. – at the time of the crime.

Following precedent set by the United States Supreme Court in 2012, Iowa’s highest court in 2016 banned life sentences without parole for minors.

Monday’s sentencing hearing

According to a report by The Gazette, Orton’s defense attorney has requested a life sentence with the possibility of parole in 10 years. He argued that Orton’s parents had emotionally abused him for years and planned to cut ties with him when he turned 18.

Prosecutors, on the other hand, reportedly pointed out that Orton had never been diagnosed with a mental illness and pointed out that the ‘heinous’ attack on his parents was premeditated and showed a rational thought process as he disposed his weapons in advance and waited for them to fall asleep before the massacres.

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