Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Son Of Pepperdine University President Faces Two Years In Prison After Threatening His Father

LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

The son of Pepperdine University's president plead no contest to charges that he made criminal threats against his father and owned a semi-automatic weapon, according to the District Attorney's Office.Christopher Benton, 27, is expected to be sentenced to two years in state prison when he appears before a judge on September 21, according to a release from the DA's office. He admitted to threatening his father Andrew Benton at his home on the university campus in Malibu on August 22. He was arrested by sheriff's deputies when he later returned to his father's home.

Benton had three prior felony convictions, which meant he was not supposed to be carrying any kind of firearm. But deputies found a semi-automatic handgun that he had discarded in the hills near campus and then they found ammunition in his car.

The incident at his family's happened not long before school started at Pepperdine University this year, according to Malibu Patch. It prompted Andrew Benton to send out a public statement explaining that his family had struggled with his son's drug problem for a long time:

For about 14 years Debby and I have dealt with issues emerging from the presence of drugs in the life of our son, Chris, and those with whom he has chosen to associate. For the most part, this issue has been kept private as we have tried a number of treatment methods. We have not given up, but we have not been successful.
Support for LAist comes from

The Los Angeles Times notes that it has been a turbulent year for the younger Benton. Although there was no foul play suspected in the death of a 25-year-old Katie Wilkins, detectives believed that Christopher Benton was the last person to see her alive. He checked into rehab shortly after her death, which authorities suspect was caused by a heroin overdose.