Murder of Tina Swor by John Dalton investigated on American Monster

Mugshot of John Dalton
John Dalton was sentenced to 20 years to life for killing Tina Swor. Pic credit: Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office

American Monster is examining the murder of Tina Swor, who was gunned down in her home in Spirit Lake, Idaho, by her violent boyfriend, John Dalton, in 2021.

In August 2021, Tina Swor’s family hadn’t heard from her in several days, so they requested a welfare check. Spirit Lake police found her dead in her home; the 56-year-old had been shot five times. She had been dead for two days.

The investigators soon learned Swor’s partner Dalton had been charged with domestic battery in 2020. He had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disturbing the peace and had completed a domestic violence offender intervention program.

Five months after completing the program, he shot Tina.

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s deputies focused their investigation on locating Dalton. He was spotted in St Maries, in the neighboring county of Benewah, and was soon apprehended by local deputies.

The killer had booked himself into a hotel room, and a search of the room soon yielded strong evidence he had murdered Tina.

John Dalton confessed to killing girlfriend Tina Swor

Dalton was charged with first-degree murder and could have faced the death penalty. In the end, the killer struck a deal with the prosecution and agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder.

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In September 2022, Dalton was sentenced to 20 years to life behind bars. He will be eligible for parole from 2043, when he will be 76 years old.

At his sentencing hearing, Dalton apologized to the victim’s family and claimed he was in “a lot of pain” because of what he had done to Tina.

Dalton’s words and statements by the defense team caused a lot of disquiet and murmuring from the public gallery, causing Judge Scott Wayman to ask the gallery to hold their emotions. Wayman called the crime senseless and brutal.

Tina Swor family spoke out against John Dalton sentence

Tina’s family and friends have expressed their dissatisfaction with the killer’s sentence, complaining that he is likely to re-offend if he is paroled.

Tina’s daughter, Carlie Swor, said, “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.” Tina’s son was blunt, stating, “He will re-offend if he gets out.”

Women who find themselves in a threatening relationship can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 at 800-799-7233 or text START to 88788, or visit the website. Or contact local police services.

American Monster airs Sundays at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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Tamara W.
Tamara W.
2 months ago

I’m sure Carlie is absolutely correct. The violent offender program was obviously a useless exercise, and anyone who has been abused by a domestic partner can tell you: if they did it once, there’s always going to be another time. I live in Spirit Lake, I knew Tina enough to exchange pleasantries when we’d bump into each other; she was a good woman and her story needs to be told. This shook all of us up, and has perhaps made some of us a little more proactive about speaking up when we know someone is being abused. Make sure you watch this program tonight. Make sure you don’t let anyone you know suffer the same way.

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