North Hagerstown High School football star faces charges

August 10, 2012|By DON AINES |
  • Phillip Samuel Butler
File photo

A star running back for the North Hagerstown High School football team was in the Washington County Detention Center Friday on charges he set up an armed robbery last month outside the school.

Phillip Samuel Butler, 17, of 211 W. Franklin St., Apt. 1, has been charged as an adult with armed robbery, robbery, criminal conspiracy to commit armed robbery, criminal conspiracy to commit robbery and theft of less than $1,000, court records said.

Butler appeared Friday on closed-circuit television from the detention center for a bond review before District Judge Dana Moylan Wright. She lowered his bond from $75,000 to $20,000.

Butler is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Aug. 22, court records said.

Evidence in the case includes a recorded telephone conversation between Butler and a co-defendant, according to charging documents.

Butler is accused of participating in a July 27 armed robbery near the North Hagerstown High School football field, according to the application for statement of charges filed by Hagerstown police. Two other juveniles, Iydae Anthony Bostic, 17, of Mount Vernon, N.Y., and Kyle Ian Dorsey, 16, of 12413 Beachley Drive in Hagerstown, were charged as adults in connection with the robbery earlier this week.

Through a series of text messages and phone calls, Butler arranged for two other teenagers to meet Bostic and Dorsey to trade a pair of sneakers, the charging document said. Butler told the teenagers where to meet Bostic and Dorsey, the document said.

Instead of a trade, Bostic grabbed a bag containing sneakers and other belongings of one victim, the charging document alleged. When one of the teenagers pulled out a cellphone to call 911, Bostic demanded he hand it over, and Dorsey pulled up his shirt to reveal what appeared to be a handgun in his waistband, the charging document alleged.

Police questioned Butler about the robbery Aug. 2, and he said he had given one of the victims the telephone number of a friend about trading sneakers, the charging document said. 

When Bostic was questioned after his arrest, he told investigators Butler had contacted him on either July 24 or 25 about robbing the one victim for his sneakers, the charging document said. Butler supplied the BB gun Dorsey used and directed them to the meeting place with the victims, the document said.

Butler met Bostic in Frederick, Md., on Sunday, and told him he disposed of the BB gun in Frederick, the charging document said.

Bostic was able to contact Butler by telephone while in the presence of two Hagerstown detectives on Tuesday, a call that was recorded, the charging document said. During the call, the two discussed Butler getting rid of the weapon, the document said.

“Yeah son, are they gonna try fishin’ it they gonna find it,” Butler said in the call, according to the charging document. “Yeah, it’s in Frederick son, they aren’t gonna find it.”

Police also examined text messages between the one victim and Butler before the robbery, the charging document said.

As a junior, Butler was named The Herald-Mail’s Washington County Football Offensive Player of the Year in 2011 after setting school records for rushing touchdowns (24), total touchdowns (26), points scored (158), rushing yards (1,743) and all-purpose yards (2,006). He helped lead the Hubs to a 7-3 record.

“We’ve never had a problem with him” in or out of school, North High Coach Daniel Cunningham told Wright during the bond review.

Cunningham said he was there to address Butler’s character rather than talk about him playing football.

Butler “takes direction well,” said Cunningham, who also described him as “passive.”

Assistant Public Defender Catherine Pugh asked Wright to release Butler to his mother’s custody.

Butler has had “contacts” with juvenile authorities in Montgomery County in 2007 and 2009, and in Washington County in 2011, Deputy State’s Attorney Joseph Michael said. Michael did not elaborate on the disposition of those contacts.

Michael indicated during the hearing that Butler had not cooperated with authorities in efforts to find the weapon.

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