Judge Ignores Suspended Sentence For Greg Butler, Gives Him A New One
Baltimore, MD – A man who was front and center during the Baltimore rioting in 2015, and punctured a fire hose, has once again received leniency, and will not have to serve time for probation violations.
Greg Butler, now 23, showed up wearing a gas mask and riding a bicycle at rioting in the city’s Penn North neighborhood on April 27, 2015, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Firefighters were battling an out-of-control blaze started by rioters at a CVS Pharmacy when Butler first stepped on a fire hose, then cut it twice with a serrated knife.
He was indicted in December, 2015 but wasn’t sentenced until November, 2016. Butler pled guilty to obstructing firefighters during a civil disorder, and was sentenced to three years of supervised release (probation), with one year in prison that was suspended. That means if he violated probation he should automatically have to go to prison for a year.
He did not abide by all of the rules set for his probation, and committed violations including positive drug tests for marijuana and PCP, and failure to pay $100 per month in restitution. At a hearing on Tuesday, September 5, federal prosecutors asked for his suspended one-year prison term to be activated.
Federal prison terms are different than state prison terms because there is no probation or early release from a person’s sentence. The entire sentence for a federal conviction has to be served.
Butler came to court on Tuesday and asked U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Mott not to give him active time. He asked Judge Mott for leniency because he has a 14-month-old son and another child on the way. He continued with excuses for his behavior, and said that although he was working for his uncle’s contracting business, that he couldn’t pay his restitution.
He also said that he used drinking and marijuana as a way to escape life’s problems, that his mother was a heroin addict, and his father was a ‘functioning’ alcoholic.
Judge Mott ignored Butlers initial sentence and did not allow the federal prosecutor’s request, and instead gave Butler three additional years of probation.
He also ordered him to enter an inpatient drug treatment program, and told Butler that if he violated his probation again, then he would be sentenced to prison.