Trial set for man accused of trying to stab Martinsburg police officer with railroad spike

Douglas Charles Butler was shot in the chest during the altercation

February 26, 2013

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A trial for a man accused of attempting to stab a police officer with a railroad spike in March 2012 was set for March 26 in Berkeley County Circuit Court.

Douglas Charles Butler, 45, who was shot in the chest by a Martinsburg police officer during the altercation, was indicted in May 2012, on one count of attempted malicious assault.

Butler was later deemed to be competent to stand trial, but an expert found that he was not criminally responsible on the day of the incident, his attorney has said.

Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely previously told presiding 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge John C. Yoder that she and defense attorney Thomas Stanley were close to reaching a plea agreement, allowing Butler to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.


Butler, who indicated in court last week that he didn’t want to enter the plea, was hospitalized at a psychiatric hospital in Weston, W.Va., after being treated for the gunshot wound to the chest.

In the confrontation with police, Butler 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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