Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Wednesday, 07 October 2015
Login |  Register 
Find Products or Services in your local community
Low  55°
High 77°
Low  53°
High 83°
Low  52°
High 72°
Low  55°
High 82°
Low  57°
High 88°
Low  50°
High 81°
Low  52°
High 83°
Current Temperature in Liberal KS is 58°  
KSCB Radio News US National Business Health & Science Political World Sports Top NPR Headlines Sports National Headlines
Stanton County Principal Found Guilty of Arson

A school principal was mentally ill when he entered his estranged wife’s home in Olathe, took purses and burned her car — but how mentally ill?

Johnson County jurors decided on Friday that his actions did not meet the extreme threshold for a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Jurors found Craig Butler, 36, guilty of arson and criminal damage to property for the crimes on Aug. 24 and Aug. 25, 2008. They found him not guilty on a charge of aggravated burglary.

To be found not guilty and sent to state mental care, Butler had to be so mentally ill at the time that he could not have intended to commit the crimes.

In closing arguments, assistant prosecutor Michael McElhinney said, “All three doctors agree he had the intent ...”

Defense lawyer Paul Morrison countered that the doctors also agreed “He was so psychotic at the time he committed this crime he didn’t know up from down.”

Butler was hallucinating and hearing voices from the “Chronicles of Narnia” characters when he entered the home while his wife, Tracy Butler, and another woman were there, the defense contended.

At the time, the former science teacher in the Shawnee Mission School District was an assistant principal at Rosedale Middle School in Kansas City, Kan.

He had started experiencing psychotic symptoms, witnesses said, and Butler testified that he got an anti-depressant medication from a co-worker and took it. The medication was the wrong drug for his condition and sent him into mania, the defense contended.

He entered the house in the 600 block of South Grant, did about $1,000 damage to furniture, dishes and electronics, took some purses and then burned the car and his legs.

He dumped the purses alongside a road in Lawrence and later he and a lawyer mailed them back to the owners.

He resigned from his assistant principal job in September 2008, got treatment and took a job in August 2009 as principal of Stanton County High School in western Kansas. An attorney for the school district there has said they were not aware of the criminal charges when they hired him. He was suspended from that job in April pending the outcome of the trial, and he is now divorced.

Morrison asked mercy for his client.

“This is about a man’s life. This is about whether you decide to stamp him as a burglar, stamp him as an arsonist,” he said.

McElhinney countered, “He’s already branded himself,” and he asked jurors to hold Butler responsible for his actions.

© Copyright By JOE LAMBE and DAWN BORMANN-The Kansas City Star
You will need to be logged in to leave a comment.
Please Login

characters left

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our Terms of Use.

Texhoma Teen Killed In Hwy 54 Crash
Eikenberry Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter
Chuckwagon Chow-Down to help raise funds for Levi Foreman
Friday's Scores
LHS Hosts Homecoming Friday
Buffaloes Burst Past Redskins
Friday's Games
Flu Shots Available Thursday At Seward County Health Dept.
Middle School Results
Enrollment Continues to Increase at USD 480 Schools
Click Here For All Stories

Wood Earns 2nd KJCCC Player of the Week Honors
Saints Slam Dodge for 20th Win
Winter Wheat Planting Reaches The Halfway Point
Kansas To Outsource Vehicle Dealer Title Work
LHS Volleyball Struggles at Hays
LHS Girls Finish Last at WAC Tennis
Enrollment Continues to Increase at USD 480 Schools
Sublette's Lehning and Former BJ Berry in Kansas Hall
Slatten Sets Record as LHS Competes at Newton
Seward Plays Tough in Texas
Click Here For All Stories
Click Here for KSCB Talk Radio 1270 am
Click Here for B107.5
Click Here for The Legend 102.7
click Here for ozzBlog
Click Here for the Kansas Lottery

©2015 Seward County Broadcasting Company, Inc.
1410 N. Western Ave. Liberal, KS 67901

Emergency Alert System | EEO Public Report Form | The Public and Broadcasting

Powered by Radio Media Group