Final Defendant Charged In British Woods Apartments Slaying Goes On Trial

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The final defendant charged in the murder of 46-year-old Bernard Hughes and the wounding of Timothy Westfield at the British Woods Apartments in 2010 went on trial Tuesday morning.

Harold Francis "Bam" Butler, 33, is facing charges of felony murder, attempted first-degree murder and aggravated robbery in the courtroom of Judge Don Poole.

Unjolee Moore is already facing a life-in-prison sentence after he was convicted earlier. Moore, 27, was found guilty by a jury in the courtroom of Judge Poole after a week-long trial in June.

Prosecutors said Moore was the driver in the June 10, 2010, robbery and murder on Oakwood Drive.

John "Cut Throat" Simpson, who was allegedly one of two gunmen who shot the two men on the porch of Hughes' apartment, earlier pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He has not been sentenced.

Authorities said Butler was the other triggerman and that Steven James Ballou, 33, was also involved. Ballou pleaded guilty in mid-July to aggravated robbery and was given a 12-year prison sentence.

The jury heard three 911 calls, including mention that two black males wearing masks had been at the porch, then left in a gold Maxima.

On one of the calls, a woman was screaming, "Breathe, Bernard, breathe. But a man on the phone said, "This man's gone." 

Attorney Jay Perry told the jury there were issues in the case about the conduct of police. He said a high-ranking police official on two occasions had instructed the lead detective on the case not to collect a cellphone that belonged to one of the parties involved.   

Cameron Williams and Lance Pope are the prosecutors.

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