The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

February 16, 2014

Butler murder trial ends in guilty verdict

The Commercial-News

---- — DANVILLE — The first jury trial involving a suspect from one of several 2013 murder cases in Danville concluded with a guilty verdict on Friday.

Beginning Thursday, jurors heard two days of testimony this week in the murder trial of Robert Butler, 31, of Danville.

The jury, which began deliberations at 3:20 p.m. Friday, returned with a guilty verdict around two hours later.

Butler was tried on three counts of first-degree murder in the April shooting death of Jamaal Sampson in the 1500 block of East Fairchild Street.

The 26-year-old Sampson was at a get-together a little before 5 a.m. April 13 in the 1500 block of East Main Street when witnesses say they heard a gunshot outside. People leaving found his body outside the address.

Sampson died en route to an Urbana hospital for treatment. He was pronounced dead just before 6 a.m.

Police have received reports of anywhere between 15 and 30 people at the get-together at the time of the shooting.

Butler was the first of several murder charge arrests made in September as a result of Vermilion County grand jury indictments handed down at the end of August. He was taken into custody in the area of English and Franklin streets.

Butler will be sentenced at a later date.