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Man accused of trying to stab police officer with spike competent to stand trial

January 18, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com
  • Douglas Butler
Douglas Butler

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A man accused of attempting to stab a police officer with a railroad spike in March 2012 is competent to stand trial, but was not criminally responsible on the day of the incident, his attorney said Thursday.

Douglas Charles Butler, 45, who was shot in the chest by a Martinsburg police officer during the altercation, was indicted in May on one count of attempted malicious assault.

Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely told 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge John C. Yoder that she and defense attorney Thomas Stanley were “very close” to reaching an agreement to allow Butler to plead not guilty by reason of insanity given the findings of a completed psychological evaluation.

Butler was hospitalized at a psychiatric hospital in Weston, W.Va., after being treated for the gunshot wound to the chest.

He was shot after he walked toward the officer with a railroad spike in his right hand, raised above his head in a stabbing position, according to court documents. The officer told the man several times to drop the spike and to get on the ground, but he did not follow orders, according to police.

After being shot, police said the man stopped, turned away from the officer and began walking away, according to court records.

Another officer then ordered the man to the ground, but he refused, police said in court documents. After being shocked with a stun gun, the man fell to the ground, but he continued to disregard officers’ commands, and the weapon was fired several more times before he complied, court documents said.

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