Butler Co. judge refuses to withdraw man's plea in killing of Brady Twp. couple

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BUTLER COUNTY, Pa. —

A New Jersey man’s request to withdraw his “no contest” plea in the killing of his father and stepmother in Butler County was rejected on Friday.

According to Butler County Judge William Shaffer, Colin Abbott, 42, of Randolph, N.J., did not prove that “manifest injustice” existed to allow the plea withdrawal.

Abbott claimed his lawyers and court officials pressured him into the deal.

Shaffer, on Feb. 27, sentenced Abbott to between 35 and 80 years in prison, less than 24 hours after Abbott entered the no-contest plea to third-degree murder for the slayings of Kenneth and Celeste Abbott, whose charred remains were found on their Brady Township Property in July 2011.

Prosecutors said Abbott killed the couple to cover thefts of huge sums of money and to make himself the primary heir of the estate. He then burned their bodies and scattered their remains.

Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.