An Idaho man was slapped with a 20-year to life sentence in the fatal shooting of his longtime girlfriend last year.
Judge Scott Wayman handed down the sentence to 56-year-old John David Dalton in court on Friday, the Coeur d'Alene Press reported. Dalton pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in March to the August 2021 murder of his partner, Tina Swor.
On Aug. 16, 2021, Swor was found shot to death at her Spirt Lake home. She’d sustained five gunshot wounds. Deputies discovered Swor’s body after friends and family requested a welfare check when they were unable to reach the Idaho woman for several days, according to officials.
Days later, Dalton was later captured by law enforcement in St. Maries, Idaho. He was later charged with murder. According to officials, the pair were in a longtime relationship at the time of the deadly shooting.
At his sentencing last week, Dalton appeared to express remorse for Swor’s killing in a short statement addressed to her family.
“I apologize to the family,” Dalton said, KHQ-TV reported. “I recognize that I’m responsible…Knowing that I’m the person that has done this to Tina has caused me a lot of pain.”
Dalton will be 76 when he becomes eligible for parole.
Swor’s family, however, who are fearful Dalton could one-day be freed, disavowed prosecutors’ plea deal with the accused man.
“I’m sure he’ll turn back to alcohol, get violent again, even find a girlfriend again and do the same thing to my mom,” Swor’s daughter, Carlie Swor, said, KHQ-TV reported.
Swor’s friends also lamented the pretrial settlement offer.
Photo: Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office
“I’m glad he got 20 years, but he should’ve got life,” Scott Allin, Tina’s friend, also said. “He took our poor Tina. He took her life. And now he’s only got 20 years, but we all have to live the rest of our lives knowing that she has no life.”
Swor, who was a mother of two adult children, was born in Salinas, California, according to her obituary. Loved ones described her as having a “bubbly” and “contagious” personality.
“Tina was a wonderful mother, sister and friend,” her obituary stated. “So many people were lightened by her personality. If you ever needed a hand, Tina was there before you even called her phone. Tina made you feel like you’re on top of the world regardless of the circumstances.”
Swor lived in Germany for several years with her first husband and once owned a candy store in Clarkston, Washington, per her obituary.