Butler requests murder charges be dismissed

Walton Butler

Walton Butler

Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 12:02 PM.

PORT ST. JOE — Attorneys for a Gulf County man cite Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law in a request to have a murder charge dismissed.

The public defender for Walton Butler filed a motion on May 21 for the dismissal of criminal charges in the 2012 shooting death of Everett Gant. Butler is charged with one count of second degree murder with a firearm, evidencing prejudice based on race.

Florida’s Stand Your Ground law justifies the use of deadly force if someone believes force is necessary to prevent death or harm to themselves or another.

The defense motion states Butler feared retaliation for use of racial slurs and combined with the “aggressive behavior” of Gant and the difference in size between the two men, Butler contends that deadly force was his last resort and he is entitled to immunity from arrest and prosecution.

A hearing for the motion is scheduled for July 11 at 9:30 a.m. ET. No official trial date is known.

According to the original arresting affidavit from former Gulf County Sheriff Joe Nugent, an incident occurred during the afternoon of July 30 when a woman came to Butler’s apartment in the Pine Ridge Apartment complex on Garrison Avenue with a child along.

Butler, a white male, used a racial slur to refer to the child.

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