Accused killer Walton Butler was in court last week as his trial on second-degree murder charges loom.
Butler is charged with shooting Everett Gant, 32, last July at the Pine Ridge Apartments in Port St. Joe.
Gant died six weeks to the day after being shot in the head, having never regained consciousness.
Butler’s defense attorney asked Circuit Court Judge Shonna Young Gay to move the pre-trial hearing for Butler, originally scheduled for next month, back in order that the defense complete deposing witnesses.
The attorney said there remained two witnesses to depose.
Additionally, the defense asked for a separate hearing for two undisclosed motions.
Butler’s original trial date of May 7 will now serve as the motion hearing provided they are filed, Gay said.
The pre-trial hearing was rescheduled for May 21 with the final hearing anticipated to occur in July, Gay said.
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.
Investigators discovered Butler had been making similar racial slurs to other children in the complex in the days leading up to the incident.
The woman became upset and left Butler’s apartment. Gant, an African-American, went to Butler’s apartment to discuss the racial animus.
Upon arriving at the apartment, Butler shot Gant between the eyes with a .22 rifle and shut his door, leaving Gant to bleed outside.
Butler called 911, finished cooking supper, sat down and began eating, the affidavit details. Nugent arrived on the scene and contacted Butler by phone, at which time Butler told Nugent to come in, that Butler was eating dinner and had put up the gun.
Nugent said Butler acted as if “inconvenienced” when put under arrest, saying he could not understand the problem as “he had only shot a (racial slur).”
Butler acknowledged shooting Gant.
Star News Editor Tim Croft contributed to this report