Gun Used In Elm Street Shooting Belonged To Accused Shooter’s Dad

Arther Butler appears in Caledonia Superior Court by video on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (Photo By Todd Wellington)

The gun used to shoot a St. Johnsbury man on Elm Street two years ago belonged to the father of accused shooter Arther Butler.

The detail was revealed during a hearing on Monday as the court granted Butler’s request to be released from jail so he could await trial on felony aggravated assault charges at his parents’ house in Topsham.

Butler, 19, has been charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault for allegedly shooting Brandon Delude, 24, in the back outside of 63 Elm St. in St. Johnsbury in April of 2019. The shooting left Delude paralyzed.

Butler’s defense attorney, Dan Sedon of Chelsea, recently asked the court to release Butler from pre-trial detention into the custody of his father and mother - who are identified in court documents as Steve Butler and Christine Butler.

But as prosecutor Maria Byford questioned Steve Butler during the hearing he made a startling admission.

“Whose gun was that that was used to shoot Brandon Delude?” asked Byford. “Do you know?”

“It was mine,” responded Steve Butler without hesitation.

Byford also referenced an incident four months prior to the shooting in which police were called to a report of a violent incident at the Butler’s home in which Steve Butler allegedly “tried to break up a dispute between Arther and his mom where he put his mother in a headlock.”

Byford also told the court that Steve Butler had been “hit and kicked” by his son during the incident.

“Up until now, Arther has really had control over his parents instead of vice-versa and I don’t know that anything would be different this time,” said Byford. “I mean, there were physical assaults…”

But Judge Harris, despite having several concerns which he noted on the record, decided to grant Butler’s request for release into his parent’s custody after posting $10,000 bail.

“For the court this is somewhat of a close call,” said Judge Harris. “There’s been a history of these alleged violations in a variety of matters…”

The judge also noted Arther Butler’s habit of being “somewhat impetuous and not making good decisions.”

Butler’s most recent violation occurred when he was on pretrial release at his parent’s house at 316 Willey Hill Road in Topsham subject to a 24-hour curfew. The curfew required Butler to remain on the property unless he had to leave for legal or medical reasons and only if he was accompanied by his mother - Christine Butler.

But in July of 2020, Butler broke his curfew and traveled across the border to Milan, New Hampshire where he committed new crimes for which he was later convicted by Granite State authorities and sentenced to serve a six-month prison sentence. Vermont prosecutors only found out about Butler’s curfew violations after being contacted by the New Hampshire police officers who arrested him.

Prior to that, Butler had racked up a total of 13 VCR’s since being charged with the shooting, said prosecutors.

Butler, who participated in Monday’s hearing by video from jail, said he would try to stop violating his conditions while on release.

“I’m gonna try to walk the straight and narrow,” said Butler

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