Shearstown man accused of animal cruelty denied bail

Terry Roberts
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William Patrick Butler of Shearstown is escorted into provincial court in Harbour Grace on Thursday, Dec. 13 by RCMP Const. Corette Penney and guard Mike Farrell (background).

A 52-year-old male resident of Shearstown will spend a second night behind bars after a provincial court judge ruled that he be remanded back into custody until she had more time to review the case.

A bail hearing for William Patrick Butler took place late this afternoon (Dec. 13), and the facts disclosed during the hearing convinced Judge Jacqueline Brazil that she could not immediately rule on whether the accused should be released.

Butler has been making headlines since it was revealed he allegedly shot and killed his dog on Monday.

He now faces a growing list of charges stemming from a second incident on Wednesday evening, when he allegedly threatened the person who originally reported the incident with the dog.

Butler is reported to have admitted to taking the dog outside and killing it with a shotgun. He also told police the dog was healthy at the time.

The incident was reported to police on Dec. 10, and Butler was later arrested and charged, and released for a future court date.

But on Wednesday, police received another call, alleging that Butler had issued threats.

He was again arrested and charged with uttering threats. As the investigation continued, police determined there was enough evidence to charge Butler with careless use of a firearm and assault, stemming from two unrelated incidents.

During today's bail hearing, it was revealed that Butler has previous convictions for uttering threats, theft and mischief.

He is due back in court at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 14.

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Recent comments

  • Fred from Brigus
    December 14, 2012 - 22:04

    Judge Brazil there is no need to rush your decision Take 4 or 5 years so you can get it right. SICKO Butler has nice comfortable digs to live in while awaiting your decision.

  • Concerned
    December 14, 2012 - 17:43

    What starts as Animal Cruelty most often moves on to Violent Crimes against people. This person needs to be in Jail for years or the Waterford for the rest of his life. Too bad someone does not give him an Attitude Adjustment..........

  • Rhonda Parsons
    December 14, 2012 - 11:22

    Sadly, Canada has one of the oldest animal cruelty laws in the developed world. It was first enacted in 1892 and remains virtually unchanged since then. Bill S-203 was passed in 2008 to amend the law but it only increased the penalties, leaving intact all the loopholes in the way offences are defined. These loopholes continue to prevent the prosecution of many serious animal abusers. Canada needs a law for the 21st century, not the 19th century. Animal cruelty is a grave form of violence that must be addressed. It can be precursor to violence against humans. There needs to be a law that takes heinous crimes against animals seriously. I truly hope this man gets the exent of the law for what he has done