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. 


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