The Walt Butler trial looms and the pretrial process remains incomplete.
During Tuesday’s session at the Gulf County Courthouse, Judge John Fishel rescheduled the pretrial for 9 a.m. CT on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at the Bay County Courthouse.
The pretrial was rescheduled after Butler’s public defender Mark Sims told Fishel that he was still waiting to review several items of discovery.
Further, he had previously filed a motion and was still awaiting a response.
Additionally, Sims mentioned that he was unable to review a lab report/medical record that was listed on the docket but wasn’t available for review.
Whether the medical record went missing or was simply not available to Sims is unknown.
“We need that document made available, as it could affect my client’s trial,” said Sims.
Assistant State Attorney Robert Sombathy said that he was aware of the record Sims sought and would ensure access was given.
Fishel also noted that Butler was hard of hearing and asked Sims if he had requested a hearing aid be made available during the trial.
Sims said that he looked into it, but reported that Gulf County courts do not provide hearing aids.
Fishel insisted that a request could be made and both parties agreed to look into it further.
Butler’s trial is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 18 at the Gulf County Courthouse, less than one week after the pretrial.
Butler is charged with shooting and killing Everett Gant in July of last year in Port St. Joe.
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.
He expressed inconvenience at being arrested for shooting a “(racial epithet),” according to the arresting affidavit.
Six weeks after the shooting Gant passed away from the injuries.