A man convicted of aggravated assault in Marion County in July last year pled guilty Monday to similar charges filed against him in Baxter County.
Twenty-eight-year-old Matthew Karl Butler, who listed an address in Bull Shoals, is represented by a Fayetteville attorney, David Hogue.
Butler was sentenced to five years probation.
MENTAL PROBLEMS ALLEGED
Butler’s mother appeared during an earlier court session and told Circuit Judge John Putman that her son was dealing with serious mental issues.
She said he had been a chemical engineering student at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville when he was beaten up by what she described as a “drunk scumbag.”
The mother said she had been trying to arrange treatment for her son.
Judge Putman said he sympathized with her situation because Arkansas doesn’t have readily available mental health facilities.
According to the probable cause affidavit,
Butler was arrested December 10 last year when Baxter County sheriff’s deputies were called to an address along Weyhmeyer Loop.
As the deputies were responding, it was reported that the situation was escalating. Butler was reported to be armed with a knife and to have attempted to hit a relative with his vehicle.
The vehicle had been disabled and Butler was reported to have left the scene on foot.
When a deputy made contact with Butler, it was noted he had blood on his hands.
In both the Baxter and Marion County cases, Butler was alleged to have used a knife and his vehicle as weapons, according to the probable cause affidavits.
DOMESTIC SITUATION SPARKS TROUBLE
A domestic situation involving a child has been the reported cause of both violent events.
Butler and a woman with whom he was in a relationship are the parents of a 2-year-old female.
The daughter was at the residence of a relative on Weyhmeyer Loop when Butler made known that he intended to take his daughter.
Other relatives were called in to prevent the removal and that resulted in Butler becoming even more upset and aggravated.
At one point, Butler is alleged to have drawn a knife and made threats, then switched to a baseball bat.
He is reported to have gotten into his vehicle, accelerated to a high rate of speed and swerved to hit a relative. He lost control of the vehicle and it smashed into property on the lawn of the residence.
The vehicle was reported to have been totaled.
Butler’s sister said he had not slept for three days at the time of the incident.
MARION COUNTY CHARGES
Butler was also accused of using his vehicle and a knife to threaten people at a residence along Summit Avenue in Bull Shoals in early February 2020.
The new incident in Baxter County has triggered the filing of a petition to revoke Butler’s probation handed down in the 2020 case.
He was placed on 48 months probation in the Marion County case on July 13 last year.
An officer from the Bull Shoals Police Department was called to the address about 10:30 p.m. to respond to the situation.
A number of people were in the front yard of the residence and they reported the suspect had fled toward State Highway 178.
A Flippin police officer, who was assisting with the call, encountered the suspect’s vehicle and notified the Bull Shoals officer that it could be on Cardinal Terrace.
The Bull Shoals officer arrived at the scene and removed Butler from the car at gunpoint.
During a search of the vehicle, drug paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana were found.
In addition, ammunition for a 9 mm pistol and a 12-gauge shotgun was found to be in the car.
Butler denied that a firearm had been involved in the incident on Summit Avenue. He said his weapons had been seized after a previous arrest for simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms.
He did admit to smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol several hours prior to the incident.
When the Bull Shoals officer returned to the scene, he spoke to witnesses who said they had seen Butler’s car in the neighborhood.
A couple identified as the parents of the woman with whom Butler had a child told officers Butler had tried on multiple occasions to ram their car and run them down in the driveway.
They said at one point, Butler pulled into a neighbor’s driveway, exited his car and pointed a black object at them that they believed was a handgun. It was later determined to have been a knife.
The mother of Butler’s child said she was in fear for her life and the lives of her children. She said Butler had been served with an order of protection to keep him away from her and the children.
When he talked to police, Butler said he had been served with the order of protection on the day of the incident. He said he had been angered by what he termed “untrue allegations” made in the affidavit regarding his behavior.
Butler said when he left a residence in Flippin where he had been living in his vehicle he did not intend to go to Bull Shoals.
He said he “ended up there” and was chased away by the former girlfriend’s parents. He denied trying to run over anyone or pointing a knife at anyone during the incident.
Butler was convicted on charges, including aggravated assault, possession of a controlled substance and violation of the order of protection in force at the time of the incident.
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