A trial for Robert Earl Buttrey, who was indicted on Feb. 26, 2007 for two counts of murder, one for Thomas Steele and one for Casey Tiner, will begin on Monday, July 27.
Buttrey, one of several individuals attending pre-trial hearings on Wednesday, July 8, in the 249th District Court in Somervell County, will be tried on only one count of murder.
“We are going to proceed on the Steele victim first,” Somervell County District Attorney Dale Hanna said.
Judge Wayne Bridewell informed Buttrey that if convicted he would be required to serve at least half of his sentence before he would be eligible for parole.
Buttrey, who will be allowed to wear civilian clothing in the courtroom, asked the judge why he had not been allowed to view his file.
“I’ve been in jail for two years and nine months in this county,” he said. “Every time we come here they say they have an open file policy. Conveniently that file is absent every time I come here.”
Hanna said the open file policy means that the files are open to Buttrey’s attorneys (Dick Turner and Patrick Barkman) and he would have speak with them about viewing the files.
Jury selection will begin on Monday, July 27, and opening arguments are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Other individuals making pre-trial appearances included Jason Lee Laramore, James Thomas Harbin, Juan Gabriel Huerta, Helen Ladonna Wood and Robert Calvin Miller.
Laramore will be represented in Johnson and Somervell counties by attorney Dick Turner and was instructed by the judge to be ready for trial.
Harbin was reported to be in federal custody on other charges.
The district attorney agreed to pass on the case of Huerta, who was arrested for driving while intoxicated on his third or more, because his attorney had an operation.
Wood, who was arrested on fraud, forfeited a bond in October.
Miller’s case, for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, was dismissed with a written motion from the victim.