Butler motion hearing continued to September

Special to The Star
Published: Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 10:07 AM.

A hearing scheduled to consider a motion to dismiss the charges against accused killer Walt Butler has been continued and rescheduled for September.

Butler is charged with shooting and killing Everett Gant last July in Port St. Joe.

Butler’s attorneys filed a motion May 21 for the dismissal of criminal charges in the death of Gant and cited Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law,” which justifies the use of deadly force if someone believes force is necessary to prevent death or harm to themselves or another.

The motion stated that Butler feared retaliation for the use of racial slurs and that Gant showed “aggressive behavior” when he approached Butler’s apartment the fatal night.

Butler was charged with one count of second degree murder with a fire, evidencing prejudice based on race, but will contended that deadly force was his last resort and that he is entitled to immunity from arrest and prosecution.

The hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. ET Sept. 9-10 at the Gulf County Courthouse.

Gant approached Butler’s Pine Ridge apartment after Butler had been accused of using racial slurs directed at children in the apartment complex. Butler shot Gant between the eyes with a .22 rifle and left him bleeding on the doorstep before calling 911 and sitting back down to finish his dinner.

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