Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Texas Millionaire Guilty of Arranging Ex-Wife's Slaying

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Texas Millionaire Guilty of Arranging Ex-Wife's Slaying

Article excerpt

SAN ANTONIO -- A Texas millionaire was convicted yesterday of arranging the murder of his ex-wife, who was found shot in her kitchen with her throat slit as her 2-year-old quadruplets crawled in her blood.

Allen Blackthorne, 45, was the last of four people suspected in the murder-for-hire of Sheila Bellush to be convicted or to plead guilty. He faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

The verdict came hours after the hit man pleaded guilty in Florida. Jose Luis Del Toro Jr., 24, then sang a song in court asking for forgiveness. He was given two consecutive life sentences.

Bellush, 35, was slain in Sarasota, Fla., in 1997. Her body was discovered by her 13-year-old daughter from her marriage to Blackthorne. Her quadruplets from her second marriage were crawling around unharmed, wearing their life jackets for use in the backyard swimming pool.

Prosecutors portrayed Blackthorne as a man who hated his ex-wife and who, after a string of custody battles, offered up to $54,000 to have her killed, with a bonus if he regained custody of his two daughters, who had been adopted by Bellush's second husband. …

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