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Pepperdine president's son arrested for making threats, police say

August 23, 2012 |  1:32 pm

The son of Pepperdine University President Andrew K. Benton was arrested on campus Thursday in connection with a criminal threat investigation related to people living in his father’s home, police said.

Christopher Benton, 27, was taken into custody around 11 a.m. Thursday, a day after making the unspecified threats, said Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore.

He also was booked on suspicion of being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun and in possession of ammunition after authorities found a gun they believe Benton discarded on a nearby hillside and the ammunition in his car, Whitmore said.

Deputies were called to the campus Wednesday and took a threat report, but Benton was nowhere to be found, Whitmore said.

Whitmore did not elaborate on the nature of the threats or who they were directed at.

Benton checked into a rehabilitation facility earlier this year after the body of 25-year-old Katie Wilkins was found in her parents’ Malibu garage in April.

Investigators said Wilkins died of an apparent heroin overdose but wanted to question Christopher Benton, who they said was likely the last person to see the graphic designer alive. Surveillance footage showed Benton getting into a car with Wilkins at a McDonald’s restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway, hours before her brother discovered her body.

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— Andrew Blankstein and Kate Mather

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