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$582K to be held for son accused in Butler County slayings

| Thursday, July 18, 2013, 11:21 p.m.

Three auctions of a slain Butler County couple's belongings, including classic cars and lawn equipment, raised nearly $680,000, court records released on Thursday show.

Minus nearly $100,000 for expenses, $582,000 will be held in a trust until an appeal is finished for Colin Abbott, who pleaded no contest to third-degree murder in February for killing his father and stepmother, Ken and Celeste Abbott, at their Brady estate in June 2011.

Abbott, sentenced to serve 35 to 80 years in prison, wants to withdraw the plea and go to trial.

Judge S. Michael Yeager ruled that until the appeals are exhausted, which attorneys said could take a couple of years, he will not make a decision on an estate request to invoke Pennsylvania's Slayer's Act, which would block Abbott from receiving any estate proceeds.

Abbott's attorney, H. Craig Hinkle, said the ruling is a good move to protect the estate until his appeal before Superior Court is settled.

“What if it's reversed and it's Colin's estate and it's gone?” Hinkle said. “That's the big issue.”

Prosecutors said they believe Abbott wants to withdraw his plea to drum up interest for his mother's effort to secure a book or movie deal.

Deborah Buchanan said she put her quest for a deal on hold because her daughter, Carrie Borges, 44, of Lafayette, N.J., died of pneumonia on June 10. Borges was paralyzed in a 1986 car crash.

Buchanan said her son, imprisoned in Camp Hill, is “very hopeful about the appeal.”

Bill Vidonic is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

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