Ax-wielding man who terrorized Cushing couple gets jail

By Stephen Betts | Apr 13, 2017

Rockland — A city man, who alarmed two Cushing residents earlier this year by walking around outside their house in the middle of the night carrying an ax, was sentenced April 13 to 90 days in jail.

Richard Butler, 37, pleaded guilty in Knox County Unified Court to one count of terrorizing with a dangerous weapon. Judge Susan Sparaco accepted a sentence agreement negotiated between the district attorney's office and defense in which Butler will receive a three-year jail term with all but 90 days suspended.

He will also be on probation following his release during which he must receive substance abuse counseling and abstain from drugs or alcohol. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $957.

Charges of unlawful possession of scheduled drugs and furnishing of scheduled drugs were dismissed as part of the sentence agreement.

The incident occurred shortly before 1 a.m. on Jan. 8 at a residence on the Cushing Road. The two people inside the home reported to the Knox County Sheriff's Office that an unknown male was walking around the house appearing agitated, looking in their windows and carrying an ax.

Just prior to the deputies' arrival, the man had gotten back into the vehicle he had arrived in and backed out of the driveway, but had gotten stuck across the road.

Deputies Jeremy Joslyn and Alicia Gordon arrived and approached the vehicle and found two men in it. As Joslyn was standing at the vehicle’s passenger side making contact with the men, the passenger reached down to where a knife was on the floor. Joslyn drew his weapon and gave commands for the passenger to show his hands and get out the vehicle, which he did. The passenger was identified as Butler.

Deputies spoke with the residents of the home, who explained Butler had gotten out of the vehicle and kept walking around their house, looking in the windows while carrying an ax. The two in the residence stated they were afraid Butler was going to break in and rob them. The ax was later found on the hood of a vehicle belonging to the people in the home.

Butler said during the court hearing that he was not that close to the windows.

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