After pleading guilty to murdering his in-laws, Ben Thomas Abbott, 35, Ellijay, will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
On Wednesday, May 7, 2014, Abbott pled guilty in a Pickens County Superior Court to breaking into the Longswamp Church Road home of Cythina and Raymond Campbell and shooting
them with a single-shot shotgun. Mrs. Campbell was pronounced dead on the scene. Mr. Campbell died later as a result of his injuries.
Abbott was arrested after confessing the crimes to a GBI Agent. Abbott has been held in the Pickens County Adult Detention Center without bond since that confession, not long after the February 2011 killings.
Abbott was originally charged with two counts of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, possession of firearm during commission of a felony, two counts of burglary, and two counts of tampering with evidence.
Under terms of the negotiated plea bargain reached between the state and the defense, Abbott pled guilty to two counts of malice murder, two counts of burglary and two counts of tampering with evidence.
Abbott received two life sentences without chance of parole to be served consecutively, in addition to 28 years to serve consecutive to the life sentences. The sentence was imposed by Appalachian Superior Court District Judge Brenda Weaver who said the intent of the sentencing is to ensure Abbot is never released from prison.
Abbott was also sentenced to have no contact with his and his former wife’s four minor children.
See our upcoming print edition for comments made by Abbott during the sentencing, as well as comments from the district attorney and a member of the victims’ family.
Chronology of other stories:
Two Dead in Home Invasion-- February 9, 2011
Son in Law Arrested in Double Murder Wednesday -- February 9, 2011
Death Penalty Sought for Ben Thomas Abbott -- June, 15, 2011 print edition for full story
Abbott shows no remorse -- reprint from Times Courier