Crime & Safety
Teenager enters a guilty plea to two counts of first-degree murder
A teenage boy, Ethan Orton, has pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder for the killing of his mother, Misty Scott-Slade, and his father, Casey Arthur Orton, in 2021. The 18-year-old confessed to intentionally and knowingly committing the crimes and is set to face life imprisonment, but will be eligible for parole as he was a juvenile at the time of the murders. Orton was scheduled to face trial before he pleaded guilty one day earlier.
Reports suggest that on Oct. 14, 2021, Cedar Rapids Police received a call about a “suspicious person” and found Orton “outside the residence covered in blood.” He admitted to killing his parents, and upon entering the home, Casey Orton and Scott-Slade were discovered. Orton used a knife to stab his parents, but when he saw that his mother was still breathing, he used an ax to end her life. He reportedly told Cedar Rapids detectives that he committed the crime to “take charge of his life.”
The Cedar Rapids newspaper, The Gazette, also reports that Orton’s confession included details about the first-degree murder elements he had partaken in, including having the intent to kill and knowingly carrying out the act.
Orton, who was charged as an adult, faced two counts of first-degree murder charges for killing his parents. Although he pleaded guilty to the charges, the judge has yet to sentence him. The gruesome murder has shocked the community and left many wondering about the motives behind it.