Man sentenced to 20 years for shooting
By Caitlin Davis, Senior Staff Writer
May 23, 2014, 13:23
HOPEWELL — A man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a shooting that left the victim a quadriplegic.
Officers were called to the VFW on Winston Churchill Drive on Dec. 2, 2012, for crowd control at the post, which was estimated to have over 100 party-goers.
Gunshots rang out and were identified as being close to a white vehicle.
Kentrell Butts, 21, began to flee the scene but was apprehended a short time later. Butts was apprehended within a minute after the shooting as he was trying to get into a car, with the .38-caliber, the weapon later identified in the shooting, in his left hand.
The white car, in which Jacory Moore was sitting in the passenger’s seat, began to roll away in the direction of South First Street. Once officers were able to get to the vehicle, they found the passenger was slumped over in the seat, with blood streaming down his neck. A .45-caliber gun was located in the floorboard of the vehicle as well.
The bullet that hit Moore is still in his spine. Dr. Torino Jennings, who provided care for Moore for a year, testified in court in February that removing the bullet could cause more harm than good, even possibly killing him.
Jennings also testified to Moore’s injuries, noting that he is a quadriplegic and will remain as such for the rest of his life.
Judge W. Allan Sharrett came back with a guilty ruling on all five charges against Butts — shooting in a public place, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, malicious wounding, reckless handling of a firearm, and discharge of firearm — during the trial in February.
On April 9, Butts was formally sentenced for the shooting. He was sentenced to 10 years with all 10 suspended for the charge of shooting in a public place, three years for use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, 40 years with 23 years suspended for aggravated malicious wounding. For the charge of reckless use of a firearm, Butts was sentenced to 12 months with 12 months suspended and for the charge of discharging a firearm, he was sentenced to 12 months with all 12 suspended. He was also placed on indefinite supervised probation.
At the beginning of this month, Butts appealed his conviction to the Court of Appeals of Virginia. Jessica Mauger, the defense attorney for Butts, said during the trial that the evidence presented did not prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, noting that the only charge the Commonwealth had was Butts firing the gun as he was fleeing the scene, the only two shots anyone saw that morning in December.
“My client is still maintaining his innocence in this matter,” Mauger said of the appeal. She also indicated the appeals process is still in the early stages.