Butler murder trial in review

Published: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 09:43 AM.

Sombathy said that the case had all of the elements of manslaughter but turned up a notch because Butler had a depraved mind.

 “I’m not saying he’s an awful person, I’m saying that he performed an awful act,” said Sombathy. “Something snapped inside this man’s mind that night.

“They weren’t scared at all, they were waiting. Self-defense or not, you just killed a man.”

Sombathy said that in self-defense, an attacker typically shows remorse for their actions, but Butler seemed unshaken. Sombathy reminded the jury that innocent people don’t run from the police.

Sims insisted Gant must have approached the house aggressively to trigger such a reaction from Butler.

 “Why else could a man kill his friend?” asked Sims. “Walt had to make a choice that night. The choice was to take a man’s life.”

As Sombathy made his final arguments, he put a photo of Gant on the courtroom’s video screen for the jury, counsel and those in attendance to see. Sombathy called Gant a silent witness to the trial and said that when the door opened at Butler’s apartment he had to know he was in serious trouble.

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