Matthew Butcher, then 27, was shot and killed during a 2010 robbery at the marijuana dispensary in Echo Park where he worked as a clerk. Many more people than usual have heard of his murder (and the wounding of security guard Urban Jones) because of Butcher's mother, Julie Butcher, a well-known labor and political activist here who took her grief and outrage to social media. Two men were convicted of the murder of this week. Julie Butcher posted the news on Facebook and Twitter and gave thanks to the jurors.
I watched the jury every day. From the days they tried to get out of it through the tedious days of cell phone technology testimony (I object! This is boring!)
Once they knew there was no getting out of it, these twelve men & women, plus four alternates, paid total attention to every bit of testimony and evidence. Finally after three weeks of trial, the jury decided quickly.
Each of them called out loudly, proudly: "Guilty!"
I met them at the elevator, stopping the jurors to thank them, to hug them. One held me and murmured: It was our pleasure. Several others simply hugged back and sincerely told me they are sorry for my loss. Beautiful Juror #7 with the golden hair said yes when I asked if she's a mom. Juror #8 bent his big bulk down for my hug as I told him he looks like Steven, Matthew's "little" brother!
I want to buy the jurors drinks, thank them for doing the right thing
I promise to respond promptly to every jury duty notice I get from now on, in honor of the jury in Department 102!
Justice be served.
~ Julie Butcher
In addition to committing to jury service when asked, Butcher's Matt Butcher Memorial Foundation "commits to specific, continued support to three organizations that were there for us." They are the Mayor's Crisis Response Team, the Los Angeles County DA's Victim-Witness Assistance Program and the organization Parents of Murdered Children. "It is unimaginable what members of these organizations do to support each other every day -- we honor their work and their service."
Sentencing is set for January 10, 2014. Jesus Sanchez at The Eastsider LA has covered the case.