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Article published March 8, 2013

Abbott seeks to withdraw plea in murder case



A lawyer said Colin Abbott is trying to withdraw from the plea deal that spared his life but put him in prison for up to 80 years.
However, no one has seen the request, allegedly written and mailed Thursday by Abbott from the Butler County Prison.
Abbott, 42, pleaded no contest Feb. 26 to two counts of third-degree murder: one count for his father, Kenneth Abbott, 65, and another for his stepmother, Celeste Abbott, 55.
The murders occurred in Brady Township on July 13, 2011.
On Friday, an attorney representing the estate of Kenneth Abbott asked county Judge S. Michael Yeager to bar Abbott from inheriting his father’s money. Under the state’s Slayer’s Act, a person is forbid from profiting from a death he played a role.
But the attorney representing Abbott in that orphan’s court matter, H. Craig Hinkle of Pittsburgh, successfully asked Yeager to delay a decision on the Slayer’s Act request. Hinkle told the judge in court that Abbott is seeking to withdrawing his plea in criminal court.
Abbott’s mother, Deborah Buchanan of New Jersey, when reached by telephone Friday, confirmed that her son told her he had mailed the request seeking to withdraw his plea.
She referred all other questions to the attorney representing Abbott in criminal court, Wendy Williams of Pittsburgh. Williams did not return a call seeking comment.



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