Tina Swor Murder: Where is John Dalton Now?

Image Credit: Carlie Swor

Tina Swor, a cherished mother of two, was the epitome of kindness in the eyes of her family and community, regarded as an angel who consistently brought joy to those around her. Her unwavering willingness to help and support others made her a beloved figure. Concerns arose when her absence stretched over several days, prompting her family to request a welfare check from authorities. Tragically, she was discovered murdered. The details of this case unfold in ‘American Monster: If Only He Had a Heart,’ and focuses on the investigation and the revelation that her long-time boyfriend, John Dalton, was found guilty of this crime.

How Did Tina Swor Die?

Born on August 20, 1964, Tina Antoinette Swor grew up alongside her two brothers. After completing her schooling, she pursued interior design for her graduate studies. On December 10, 1983, Tina married Richard D. Swor, and the couple spent several years together in Germany before eventually relocating to Salinas, California. She also opened Sugar Shack Candies & Gifts in Clarkston after a few years. During their marriage, Tina and Richard welcomed two children, a son named Richard D. Swor Jr. in 1992 and a daughter called Carlie M. Swor in 1997. Unfortunately, due to undisclosed differences, the couple eventually separated and after a while, Tina entered into a relationship with John D. Dalton.

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On August 16, 2021, Tina’s friends and children raised concerns with the authorities, stating that they had been unable to reach her for the past several days and were growing increasingly anxious. Law enforcement visited her residence in Spirit Lake and, after receiving no response to their knocks, entered the premises. Inside, they discovered the 57-year-old deceased, with five gunshot wounds to her head. Based on their assessment, the authorities concluded that she had been dead for approximately two days.

Who Killed Tina Swor?

The initial person of interest for the police in the investigation was Tina’s longtime boyfriend, John Dalton. Since the day of Tina’s death, he had not been seen, raising suspicions not only among the authorities but also within her family. At 55 years old, he had a criminal record, including a misdemeanor assault conviction from Oregon in 1995. However, this history was just the beginning of the concerns surrounding him.

In early 2020, Dalton faced charges of domestic battery, a misdemeanor, in Kootenai County. To resolve the case, he opted to plead guilty under the condition the charge would be reduced to disturbance of peace, and so he was convicted on this charge. The presiding judge in the case sentenced him to a two-year term of unsupervised probation. Additionally, Dalton was required to complete a domestic violence offender intervention program within the following months. As per court records, he successfully fulfilled the program’s requirements, completing it in March 2021.

In response to allegations of a potential drinking problem and considering Dalton’s history of involvement in domestic violence, law enforcement initiated a search for him. A description of his vehicle was disseminated, accompanied by a public warning indicating that he might be armed. Within a few days, the police received a report of him being sighted in St. Maries. Acting swiftly, a deputy from the Benewah County Sheriff’s Office located and detained him, bringing him into custody.

In the course of searching his hotel room, officials discovered compelling evidence that implicated Dalton in Tina’s death. Subsequent interviews with him provided further insights, leading the police to secure an arrest warrant against him. He was then charged with first-degree murder in connection with Tina’s death, and looking at his rap sheet and the brutal nature of the killing, the prosecutors demanded his bail be set at a high. Therefore, he was held on a $1 million bond.

Where is John Dalton Now?

Faced with the possibility of the death penalty for first-degree murder, Dalton opted for a plea deal and entered a guilty plea to the charge of second-degree murder concerning Tina Swor in March 2022. Subsequently, in September of the same year, he received a sentence of 20 years to life in prison. Earlier, in February, Dalton had filed a claim to an estate co-owned with Tina. However, his request was denied under the state’s “slayer statute,” which stipulates that a person who has caused the death of another cannot claim any property belonging to the deceased. This legal principle ensured that Dalton, having been convicted of Tina’s murder, was barred from making any claims on her estate.

John Dalton is currently serving his sentence at the Idaho Correctional Institution-Orofino. His eligibility for parole is set for 2043 when he will be 76 years old. During the sentencing hearing, Dalton expressed remorse and extended an apology to Tina’s family and children. He acknowledged his responsibility as the person behind Tina’s tragic fate, recognizing the pain his actions had caused.

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