Butler Gets Life Prison Sentence For Murder Of Bernard Hughes

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Harold Francis "Bam" Butler was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday afternoon after a Criminal Court jury found him guilty of felony murder in the slaying of 46-year-old Bernard Hughes at the British Woods Apartments in 2010.

Butler, 33, was also found guilty of attempted first-degree murder in the wounding of Timothy Westfield in the same incident.

The jury in the courtroom of Judge Don Poole also found Butler guilty of attempted especially aggravated robbery and employment of a firearm in the commission of a dangerous felony.

He will be sentenced Oct. 14 on the convictions other than the felony murder.

The jury deliberated an hour and 20 minutes.

The trial began Tuesday.

Butler was the final defendant charged in the aborted robbery. Authorities said he was one of two gunmen who killed Hughes and wounded Westfield on the front porch of the Hughes apartment.

Unjolee Moore is already facing a life 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 the other gunman, earlier pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. However, Simpson said during the trial when called as a witness that he has decided to withdraw his guilty plea and go to trial. That could also subject him to a life prison sentence.

Despite Simpson's non-cooperation, prosecutors Cameron Williams and Lance Pope did get before the jury a portion of an earlier Simpson statement in which he said Butler shot Hughes. 

 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAILIFF, KEVIN BRENTON  1211 LAKESIDE DRIVE HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 29 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County AGGRAVATED ASSAULT DOMESTIC --- BARNES, RACHEL KATHLEEN  420 BOOTH ROAD CHATTANOOGA, 37411  Age at Arrest: 23 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga POSSESSION ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Council Continues Debate On Future Of Mountain Art Center

The status of Signal Mountain Arts Community Center (MACC) building A, the original and front section of the current structure, was under discussion at the work session of the Signal Mountain Town Council on Friday afternoon. After receiving the original estimate to completely renovate that part of the building at $1.2 million, the council asked City Manager Boyd Veal to pare the ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Haggling Must Stop

Far be it for me to suggest the Hamilton County Commission and the School Board need to spend more time at recess but it was obvious this week the two groups need to work at being better friends. We have nine county commissioners and just as many corresponding school board members to work together for the betterment of one entity – Hamilton County. Everybody who thinks that is happening ... (click for more)

Amazing Bradley Builds 32-0 Lead, Routs Cookeville 69-35 In Region 3-3A Tournament

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Bradley Central’s top-ranked Bearettes went into Friday’s Region 3-3A quarterfinal basketball game against Cookeville with several thoughts in mind. Sending a message was one of them. Stamp it delivered. The Bearettes, now at 30-0 with the tradition-rich program’s third-longest winning streak in its history, overwhelmed the Lady Cavaliers with a ... (click for more)

Macon County Ends Season For Signal Mountain Girls

The Signal Mountain Lady Eagles entered the first round of the Region 4-AA basketball tournament as the District 7-AA champions and riding high on a seven-game winning streak. The Macon County Tigerettes came to Signal Mountain Friday night for that first-round game on a two-game losing streak and still hurting after finishing fourth in last week’s District 8 gathering. But ... (click for more)