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Man Convicted Of Killing His Mother Faces Sentencing Wait

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

A MAN facing up to 60 years in jail for beating and choking to death his 81-year-old mother must wait an additional three weeks for his sentencing to begin.

Jerome Butler, 57, was scheduled to appear before Justice Indra Charles on Friday morning in Supreme Court for a sentencing hearing more than two months after a jury unanimously convicted him of intentionally and unlawfully causing the death of Princess Ruth Butler.

However, Crown and defence counsel requested an adjournment because the ordered probation report had only been received the day before the hearing and impeded their ability to prepare and submit written arguments to the court concerning punishment.

As a result, Justice Charles adjourned the matter to April 21 at 10am.

Butler had stood trial for 10 days before Justice Charles concerning the February 4, 2015, murder.

Mrs Butler was found dead in her home at Petersfield Road in Highbury Park shortly after 8am. An autopsy revealed that she died of asphyxia, and as a result of finding facial bruises and internal injuries about her body, police launched an investigation.

Her son was arraigned in Magistrate’s Court 12 days later in connection with the death. He pleaded not guilty to murder when formally arraigned in the Supreme Court three months later.

During the trial, the jury heard testimony from Corporal Chris Pickstock, who presented photos and videos extracted from a Samsung Galaxy cell phone, allegedly owned by Butler, on February 11.

According to Cpl Pickstock, the videos and photos were taken on February 4 at 6.30am and 6.34am.

During cross-examination by Butler’s lawyer David Cash, Cpl Pickstock acknowledged that there were “a lot” of other videos and photos in the phone.

Crime scene investigator Constable 1800 Levar Neely also testified and said he took photographs of the crime scene on February 10.

One of the photographs showed a suspected bloodstain on the bedroom floor, the jury said.

Mr Cash asked Constable Neely if it was the “best practice” in homicide investigations to take photographs while the body was at the scene. The detective agreed with the defence lawyer’s suggestion.

Constable Neely also agreed that he could not say how many people were in the room between February 4 and 10, 2015.

The jury also heard testimony from Dr Austin Davis, who examined the body and said the initial death certificate indicated that the victim had died of natural causes as he had found nothing peculiar about the body, except for a blood stain on the sheet.

Sergeant 527 Basil Evans testified that he had questioned the 57-year-old at the Central Detective Unit on February 12, 2015 concerning his alleged involvement in his mother’s murder.

He denied suggestions during his video recorded interview with police that he had physically attacked his mother and choked her to death because of an argument over money he had spent on his girlfriend.

Uel Johnson and Alicia Delancy prosecuted the case.

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