Butler convicted of second-degree murder


Walt Butler

Special to The Star
Published: Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 06:45 PM.

A Gulf County jury found Walt Butler guilty of second-degree murder with a firearm after deliberating a little more than an hour on Thursday afternoon.

Butler was not convicted of the more serious hate crime enhancement, indicating Butler did not target Everett Gant because of his race.

Butler faces life in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 12.

Butler shot Gant in July 2012 at the Pine Ridge Apartments in Port St. Joe.

Gant died six weeks to the day later from his wound.

The four-trial continued Thursday with State Attorney Robert Sombathy calling his final witness, Medical Examiner Michael Hunter.

Sombathy and defense attorney Mark Sims questioned Hunter, who performed Gant’s autopsy, focusing on the severity of a shot to the head from a .22 rifle and providing the jury with published photos of the wound and bullet fragments.

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