Killer to spend rest of his life in prison following plea deal for 2013 triple murder

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County triple murderer will spend the rest of his life in prison and prosecutors say the case shows the hurt caused by gun violence.

Robert Bell received three life sentences in a row, plus 20 years as the case came to an emotional end Wednesday.

Channel 2′s Tony Thomas was inside the courtroom where he said Bell had little to say after pleading guilty to the murderous rampage.

“Apparently he was still seething mad over some perceived slight or threat by Angelina Benton,” said Gwinnett County Sr. Assistant District Attorney Herbert Adams Jr.

Benton was the woman who had taken Bell and his wife in after they became homeless. But Benton and Bell got into an argument, and Bell admits when Benton and her family returned from a weekend trip in September 2013, he gunned them down with an AR-15, killing Benton, her son Joseph, 12, and her godson, Raynard Daniel, 19.

Benton’s then-boyfriend was injured in the incident.

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Bell agreed to life in prison without the chance for parole after prosecutors took the death penalty off the table.

“I’m boiling on the inside your honor. I’m not even going to lie to you, and this hurts. It hurts so bad,” brother Tracy Benton told the court Wednesday.

Most of Benton’s family agreed with the plea, wanting the long ordeal to be over with, but not all.

“What did that 12-year-old do to make you do something like that to him?” relative Earnestine McDonald said.

“I can’t forgive him. I want to, but I can’t,” sister Bridgitt Benton said.

After court, Benton’s brother showed Thomas his sister’s picture, still hurting by Bell’s actions nearly eight years ago.

“This took a lot of pieces out of all of us, but we are survivors. We are surviving and we are going to continue to survive,” Tracy Benton said.

After court, Gwinnett County District Attorney Patsy Austin Gatson called the decision very tough, but said it was right with the family.

She called the killings a lesson in why society needs to put guns down.