The 17 year-old Topsham resident accused of twice shooting and seriously injuring a St. Johnsbury man didn’t last long at Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center.
But while he was there, Arther S. Butler let it be known that he wished he had finished the job.
“He said that the only thing he regretted was not emptying a full clip into the person,” said Jay Simons, Director of Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center in Colchester during testimony in Caledonia Superior Court Wednesday.
Simons was testifying during a review of Butler’s conditions-of-release. He said Butler frequently commented about his alleged crime to the other juveniles at the facility after arriving in early April and at one point incited a near riot.
Simons said Woodside staff members were also targets of Butlers’ aggressive behavior.
“In one situation, where he was redirected by a female staff he repeatedly called her the “C” word as she was trying to speak with him,” said Simons from the witness stand. “Of course this was in close proximity to other residents who look up to him because of his alleged offense and want to emulate his behavior.”
Butler has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges of reckless endangerment and felony aggravated assault for allegedly shooting Brandon Delude, 24, twice in the back just before 1 a.m. Tuesday outside of 63 Elm St. in St. Johnsbury.
Since his arraignment, Butler has been thrown-out of Woodside twice and is now being housed in pretrial detention in adult prison at Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility in Rutland.
Simons told the court Butler’s behavior, which he described at “callous and unfeeling” was so bad at Woodside he sent him to adult prison for a stay but then gave Butler a second chance.
According to Simons, he told Butler he could return to juvenile facility provided he agreed to not talk about his alleged crime, not glorify criminal behavior, not glorify his time in adult jail and start using his manners.
The agreement did not last long.
“He walked-in - literally on the unit - and announced that he had been droppin’ acid and DOC was - I believe - “lit” was the term he used regularly when describing his time at the Department of Corrections (Jail),” said Simons. “He professed to quite enjoy his time at the Department of Corrections saying he could do whatever he wanted to do and sort of had free run of the place and, um, could drop acid.”
Deputy Caledonia County State’s Attorney Maria Byford asked Simons about the impact of Butler’s continued bad behavior on other youth offenders.
“Oh, well, it had a negative impact on their ability to engage in treatment,” said Simons. “Residents engaged in various behaviors including turning chairs over, ripping covers off windows, being verbally abusive to staff and during at least one of those instances Arther could be heard egging the person on from his room.”
Butler was sent back to Marble Valley where he remains.
Simons told the court in his eight years at the facility Butler was one of only five Woodside offenders that had been kicked out and sent to adult prison.
Simons also testified that despite his behavior, Butler had a good reason to remain at Woodside.
“He expressed to me the only reason he was concerned about how he was perceived at Woodside was because he thought it would be good for his case if he could stay at Woodside,” said Simons.
Judge Robert Bent took the testimony under advisement.
According to court documents, Butler shot Brandon Delude twice in the back with a 9 mm handgun after Butler pointed the weapon at Delude’s fiance, Brooke Hornbeck Fielder. Police said they found Delude on the ground bleeding from gunshot wounds in the lower left quadrant of his back and near his left shoulder. Delude survived the shooting but was seriously injured.
Butler and co-defendant John H. “JJ” Emerson III, 18, of Newbury fled the scene and were on the the run until they turned themselves into state police at the Westminster Barracks.
The court has since ordered Emerson’s case transferred to juvenile court where he will be treated as a youthful offender.