Dr. Butler Gets Out of Lubbock County Jail on 13 Conditions - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/21/03

Dr. Butler Gets Out of Lubbock County Jail on 13 Conditions

On Tuesday morning, Dr. Thomas Butler was back in plain clothes for his detention hearing. The end result was a trip home for Butler, and a long list of conditions Butler must follow to hang on to his freedom, at least for now.

Dr. Butler is out of jail. His bond was set at $100,000, but he paid $10,000 out of his own pocket for his freedom. He'll be spending the first time in one week with his family. Even supporters are giving him a warm welcome home.

Signs of support sitting on the porch of the Butlers.

"Tom, welcome home," said one of the cards on a plant sitting on his porch.

Dr. Thomas Butler is a free man for now and he couldn't be happier.

"What do you have to say?" asked NewsChannel 11.

"I'm glad to be out," said a smiling Dr. Butler as he entered the United States Marshall Office.

Butler was seen embracing his family. But soon, Dr. Butler will have to embrace the outcome of a federal case against him. Dr. Butler is being accused of lying to the FBI when he told them 30 vials of bubonic plague were missing.

Dr. Butler's lab, 4C-142, is locked. It will remain that way indefinitely.

That's part of the long list of stipulations Dr. Butler must follow in order to get our of jail:

  • Dr. Butler must turn in his passport.
  • He's under a curfew.
  • He cannot travel outside Lubbock County, unless he's has permission.
  • He must wear an electronic ankle monitoring device at all times.
  • He cannot handle biological agents.
  • He's not allowed to talk with anyone at Texas Tech or any witnesses to the case.
  • He's not allowed to step foot anywhere on the Texas Tech campus.

Texas Tech Health Sciences Center placed Butler on paid administrative leave. Butler makes around $130,000 a year.

13 conditions worked out between the U.S. Attorney Dick Baker and Butler's defense attorney Floyd Holder.

"Well, when you negotiate, there's always a give and take," said Holder.

NewsChannel 11 was told by the federal government that they felt Dr. Butler was a flight risk, but to reassure the government, Dr. Butler has put his house up for collateral if he does leave. We're told it's worth about $200,000.

NewsChannel 11 will continue to ask these questions until we get answers:

  • How were the samples destroyed?
  • How do we know that they have even been destroyed?

We may not have these answers until this case is over. An arraignment date has not been set for Dr. Butler.

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