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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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4/29/2013 2:12:00 PM
Butts could face plea decision Monday in helicopter bombing
Richard Butts
Richard Butts

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter

CAMP VERDE -- There could be a change in the picture of the plodding court appearances for Richard Butts.

Butts, of Cottonwood, is accused of firebombing the Verde Valley Medical Center's Angel-3 medical helicopter almost a year ago. He is back in Judge Michael Bluff's courtroom Monday afternoon. Both sides have been working for a couple of months to reach an agreement in a change of plea. That could come during the scheduled hearing.

Butts is also slated for a so-called "Donald hearing" in which he would be told of the maximum exposure he would face whether he goes to trial and is convicted of all counts of if he takes the offered plea. That plea is expected to combine two separate cases.

Butts was reportedly walking back to a wash where he had been living last May 25th when he reportedly threw a Molotov-cocktail type flammable at the helicopter idle on its pad near the hospital. The beer bottle broke a hole in the windscreen of the craft and flames burned throughout the cabin and charred the exterior with a repair cost of about a quarter-million dollars.

Butts is charged with arson of an occupied structure, criminal damage, misconduct involving weapons, and two counts of endangerment.

The judge is also expecting an unrelated case to be included in the plea. That case charges alleges six counts of aggravated (felony) DUI with a driver's license restriction, three counts of assault, criminal damage and endangerment.

Taylor Waste

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013
Article comment by: itsy bitsy Spider

Well, Mr. Slater, we could try banning beer and requiring a waiting period and background check to buy gasoline. Mr. Butts obviously isn't the only firebomber in Cottonwood.

Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Give the kid a break.After all, who among us
haven't put on a little buzz and through no fault
of our own tossed a fire bomb at one thing or another.
Perhaps a look into his stability would be in order.

Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Article comment by: flaco comir

Let's see, restitution at: $287,465 should take this young vagabond about 450 years to complete!

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