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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Pasadena : Slayer of Uncle Gets Life

April 10, 1986

Former auto restorer John Iner Botting was sentenced Monday in Pasadena Superior Court to life in prison without possibility of parole for murdering an elderly relative to collect on the Pasadena man's estate.

Attorneys for both sides said the Botting case was one of the most unusual ones they had ever handled. Botting, 33, was tried twice, but his first trial ended last year in a hung jury. After his second trial began in November, his mother, LaVerne Dennis, confessed to the murder.

Despite her confession, a jury convicted Botting in February of the strangulation murder of Iner Alvin Thor, his 78-year-old uncle by marriage. Botting was staying at his uncle's house at the time of the killing in July, 1984. Authorities alleged that Botting tricked his ailing uncle into making him the main beneficiary of his will, then strangled him with a rope belt. Botting also was convicted of forgery and attempted grand theft.

His attorney, Rayford Fountain, said he has appealed the convictions to the state Court of Appeal.

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