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Pepperdine University President's Son Pleads No Contest to Making Threats

Christopher Andrew Benton is facing two years in state prison.

The 27-year-old son of Pepperdine University's president pleaded no contest Friday to a charge that he threatened his father.

Christopher Andrew Benton is facing two years in state prison Sept. 21 when he is sentenced by Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Karen Nudell, according to Deputy District Attorney Rena Durrant.

Benton, the son of President Andrew K. Benton, had been awaiting a hearing to determine if there was enough evidence to require him to stand trial when he pleaded no contest to making criminal threats and another count of possession of a firearm by a narcotic addict.

Three other counts are expected to be dismissed when he is sentenced.

Aug. 23 by Los Angeles County sheriff's personnel at the Malibu campus, one day after threatening his father during a family argument, authorities said. He has been in custody since then.

According to the criminal complaint, he was convicted in two drug- related cases in 2005 and 2009 and a petty theft case in 2003.

In a campus-wide email, Pepperdine President Andrew Benton said his in the near future.

"That status will not change until the University Threat Assessment Team concludes that it is appropriate for him to do so. All parties involved — the Court, the District Attorney, University leaders tasked with assuring campus safety, as well and his mother and I — agree with this decision. It is not an easy thing to do, but it is appropriate," Benton wrote.

The president said his son has been struggling with drug issues for the past 14 years. 

Christopher Benton, who spent time in a rehabilitation facility earlier this year, was wanted for questioning in the overdose death of 25-year-old Katie Wilkins in April. Investigators said Benton was likely the last person who saw Wilkins alive, based on surveillance footage that showed the pair at a McDonald’s restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway.

Ernesto Goldstein September 07, 2012 at 11:21 PM
I wonder if his connections are why the "Three other counts are expected to be dismissed when he is sentenced." Interesting how Christopher "was wanted for questioning in the overdose death of 25-year-old Katie" but questions were allowed to remain unanswered. Detectives should force a plea deal. Justice has not been served here.

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