Cornelius Butler found not guilty of attempted muder

Published 5:26 pm Friday, October 18, 2013

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
Cornelius Butler, 20, of Montgomery was found not guilty Thursday for the attempted murder of James Smith on U.S. 80 in 2010 in Lowndes County.
The verdict came in Lowndes County Circuit Court before sitting District Judge Adrian D. Johnson.
Lowndes County District Attorney Charlotte M. Tesmer said the case involved a drive-by shooting in which a co-defendant pleaded guilty before she took office.
She said the co-defendant pulled the trigger and Butler, who was 17 at the time, was the driver.
She said the case was tried by Assistant District Attorneys Steve Townes and Will Kelly.
Tesmer said, “It’s a disappointing verdict for me, but I have to honor a jury’s verdict.”
She said Butler’s testimony was that he was driving the co-defendant’s vehicle, and they were supposed to be going to a high school ballgame. As he passed a van, the co-defendant pulled a gun and shot several times.
Tesmer said the testimony was the other man instructed Butler to return and fired again. And she said Butler’s testimony was that “he was afraid for his own life.”
She said Butler was charged with attempted murder, discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle and having a pistol without a permit and found not guilty.
Butler was represented by attorney Susan James.

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