A Turner man found guilty in a 2019 Sweet Home murder was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday.
Page Lee Butterfield, 27, was sentenced to life with no possibility of parole for 25 years for second-degree murder in the death of Corey Burdick, 43, by Linn County Circuit Court Judge Thomas McHill.
Butterfield was also sentenced to 10 years for second-degree assault in the shooting of Ervin Smith, 67, and 18 months for a felon in possession of a firearm charge. Those terms will be served concurrently with the life sentence.
Butterfield’s court-appointed attorney, John Rich, said the sentence was no surprise because the crimes carried Measure 11 mandatory minimum sentences. However, Rich described the verdict as a “miscarriage of justice” and has already started the appeal process.
The defense asserted that Butterfield acted in self-defense and was being robbed by Burdick and Smith during a drug deal. Rich points to Butterfield’s backpack being found in a bedroom closet in the travel trailer where the shooting happened as evidence that Butterfield was being robbed during the confrontation.
McHill found the defense lacked merit at trial. An autopsy showed Burdick was shot in the back of the head at close range.
Linn County Deputy District Attorney Coleen Cerda said the judge sentenced Butterfield in accordance with what prosecutors had asked for.
“It’s just really sad for everybody involved,” Cerda said Tuesday after the sentencing. “One family’s person is gone. They’ll never see them again, and so really sentencing ... somebody (to prison) doesn’t really bring (the victim) back. And for the other party, their son’s going to prison for, potentially, life.”
Butterfield was found not guilty of two other charges, attempted murder and unauthorized use of a vehicle. McHill said the state did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Butterfield intended to kill Smith when he shot him. McHill also said the state did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Butterfield knew he was not authorized to drive the vehicle he used to leave the scene, as he had previously been allowed to drive the vehicle.
The charges stemmed from a May 24, 2019, incident in Sweet Home.
A witness told police that Butterfield and Burdick entered Smith’s travel trailer in the 500 block of Surrey Lane to discuss a dispute. Smith came out of his bedroom while the two were arguing, the witness told officers, according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the court.
As the argument became heated, the witness became scared and backed away from the confrontation, the affidavit states. She heard the first gunshot, turned to see Butterfield holding what appeared to be a gun and hid in a bedroom, then heard two more shots, according to the affidavit.
Smith, while recovering at an area hospital, reportedly told investigators he was shot in the back by Butterfield after Burdick was killed. Smith was found by authorities outside his trailer with a wound to his torso.
Butterfield was arrested in the Sisters area on May 26, 2019, after reportedly fleeing from Oregon State Police troopers who spotted him.
K. Rambo can be contacted at 541-812-6091 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter via @k_rambo_.