Jury Deliberating on Butler Trial - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/25/03

Jury Deliberating on Butler Trial

After hours of deliberations, the jury has yet to reach a verdict in the trial of Tech Researcher Thomas Butler. Butler, a world renowned researcher is accused of causing a national bio terrorism scare in January, after reporting missing vials of bubonic plague. He faces 69 charges, including theft, fraud and embezzlement.

The jury has to come to a unanimous decision on each of the 69 counts, they didn't finish on Tuesday so they will go back into deliberations on Monday.

The trial wrapped up with closing arguments, Prosecutors told the jury that the evidence was on the table, Thomas Butler took an oath then lied on the stand. They said Butler defied his supervisors and had no respect for the rules because he thought he was above it. He stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from Tech, fraudulently transported hazardous bacteria into the U.S. and has gotten away with taking the law in his own hands for way too long, according to the prosecution.

The defense told jurors, everybody makes mistakes, maybe Butler made one but that doesn't make him a criminal. Butler would be a criminal if he'd acted in bad faith, but that's not the case here, Butler acted in good faith, not even knowing he was doing anything wrong.

Both sides agree this trial is about justice, and both are hoping that's what the jury will determine. Again the trial has wrapped up for the week, but jury deliberations will resume Monday morning at 8:30.

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