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Man Sentenced to Life for Attempted Murder of Fellow Prisoner over Juice Box Dispute

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – An Anne Arundel County judge sentenced 35-year-old Courtney Butler to life in prison plus 10 years on Friday for the attempted murder of a fellow inmate following a dispute over juice boxes, State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess announced.

The sentence will run consecutive to the 35 year sentence Butler was already serving for a robbery and weapons violation stemming from a 2009 incident in Baltimore County.

“To attempt to take a life over something so trivial is extremely disturbing and shows the defendant has no regard for human life,” Leitess said. “This wasn’t a spur of the moment crime as the defendant stewed and planned this attack. I appreciate the judge’s sentence as it will keep this defendant out of our community.”

Following a days-long court trial, the Honorable Cathleen M. Vitale found Butler guilty of attempted first- and second-degree murder, first-degree assault, reckless endangerment, and weapons violations for the March 25, 2021 attack at the Jessup Correctional Institution.

On that date, Butler, the victim, and another inmate engaged in an argument about the distribution of several juice boxes. At one point, Butler threatened the victim. Over a six-hour period, Butler was seen repeatedly making trips past the victim’s cell. Soon after, Butler made a phone call in which he told a woman he was going to get in trouble for something he was planning and would lose his job as an Inmate Worker. The woman encouraged Butler not to do anything, but he refused.

Just after 6:30 p.m., the victim sat down at a telephone bank in the dayroom. Armed with a knife-like object, Butler walked up from behind and stabbed the victim multiple times in the back before throwing him to the ground. The victim was rushed to University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma Unit, where he was treated for his injuries.

Assistant States Attorney Nancy Olin prosecuted the case on behalf of the citizens of Anne Arundel County.

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