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Butts Hearing

Posted on 30th September 2014 at 08:54

Columbia County Circuit Court Judge Ted Grove is reversing one of his previous rulings, now ordering that the man accused of shooting and killing Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter be returned to the Oregon State Hospital to receive anti-psychosis medications, against his will, if necessary. Painter’s family members say that they hope that this may finally signal the beginning of the end for their ongoing ordeal; Alan Painter, Chief Painter’s brother, says that this has been a terrible grind. Nearly four years have passed since Painter was shot and killed in the parking lot of a Rainier car audio shop. On January 5th, 2011, Painter responded to a theft report at the store, where he confronted Daniel Butts of Kalama. It’s alleged that the two men struggled; they say that Butts was able to get possession of Painter’s handgun, and then used it to shoot him. Butts was then wounded in a gun battle with other law enforcement officers, and was eventually arrested. Since that time, there have been a series of hearings on the mental competency of Butts. In a previous ruling, Grove determined that Butts was not incompetent, and was “gaming the system.” He ordered that Butts be held and treated without medication; that ruling was reversed in yesterday’s hearing. Butts is being returned to Salem, where he will be forcibly medicated. The next hearing in the case is currently scheduled for January 16th of next year.