Dewayne RichardsonBreaking News, Mississippi Delta DA 4th District

Indianola, MS—Lonnie Butler, 33, of Clarksdale was found Guilty of First Degree Murder with a Firearm Enhancement and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon in Sunflower County following a three-day jury trial, District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced today.

During the trial, the State put before the jury evidence that on the evening of November 21, 2011, Butler shot and killed Demetrius Webb in the midst of a verbal altercation in Drew, Mississippi. Witnesses present testified that Webb and an associate of Butler were arguing and had agreed to fight each other one-on-one. Prior to the expected fight, Butler’s associate removed a revolver firearm from his pocket and handed it to Butler who then shot Webb twice in the chest before the anticipated fight could begin. Butler and his associate fled the scene and Webb was rushed to the North Sunflower Medical Center then to the University of Mississippi Medical Center where he succumbed to the gunshots. The Drew Police Department was called and quickly arrived on scene. Bystanders provided officers with a description of the shooter and advised that he had gotten into a vehicle with a Coahoma County tag that was traveling toward Clarksdale.

The responding officers pursued the direction of the vehicle to no avail. Investigators arrived on scene and began speaking with witnesses who informed them of the shooter’s nickname. Detectives made contact with others who had been present but left the scene when the shooting began and they were able to provide the real name of the shooter—Lonnie Butler. Investigators located a photo of Butler matching the description given by the witnesses on scene and he was positively identified by the witnesses to the shooting. A warrant was issued for his arrest and he was captured the following day hiding in an attic in a home in Lyon, Mississippi. Once in custody, investigators performed a Gun Shot Residue kit on his hands that was then sent to the Mississippi Crime Lab where it was tested by a Forensic Analyst. The analyst contacted Drew PD and informed them that Butler’s hands contained particles indicating the presence of Gun Shot Residue. Following an autopsy on Webb, two .38 caliber bullets were recovered from his body.

Assistant District Attorneys Kaylon McCou and Takiyah Perkins argued to the jury that Butler’s guilt was clear. From the outset of the shooting and throughout the investigation, every witness identified him as the shooter whether by description, nickname, or by name. Following closing arguments, and after just over half of an hour of deliberations, the jury announced its verdict in open court at the Sunflower County Courthouse at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Thursday—Guilty of First Degree Murder, Guilty of the Firearm Enhancement, and Guilty of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. The Court ordered Butler remanded to the custody of the Sunflower County Sheriff to await the scheduling of a sentencing hearing.

Assistant DA Takiyah Perkins added, “the District Attorney’s Office is committed to seeking justice, but without the assistance of law enforcement and brave citizens who agree to come forward and provide testimony about what happened, we would not have been able to hold Mr. Butler accountable for his actions on the night of November 21, 2011.  Our office hopes that the family and friends of Demetrius Webb receive some relief and begin the process of healing knowing that Lonnie Butler has had to answer for his criminal acts and justice was sought and rendered.”

The Office of the District Attorney is deeply appreciative for the efforts of the Drew Police Department, the cooperation of the witnesses, and the service of those who answered the call to jury service.  Butler is scheduled to be sentenced later in the Sunflower County term of court.