Port St. Joe Man Faces 2nd Degree Murder Charge and Hate Crime

The Port St. Joe man charged with a hate crime murder was back in court today.

59-year-old Walton Henry Butler was originally scheduled for arraignment Tuesday morning on an attempted murder charge with a hate crime enhancement, but the victim 32-year-old Everett Gant, died last week, so Butler now faces second degree murder.

Butler shot Gant with a .22 caliber rifle on July 30th outside of Butler's unit at the Pine Ridge Apartment Complex in Port St. Joe.

Gant wanted to talk to Butler about allegedly using racial slurs in front of some neighborhood children .

Investigators say Butler called 911 after the shooting, then returned to preparing his dinner. He was eating when sheriff's deputies arrived.

The judge scheduled a new arraignment for Butler on November 6th so he can enter a plea on the new charge.

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