Walton Butler Found Guilty of Second Degree Murder

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PORT ST. JOE -- The family of a Port St. Joe man, killed by his neighbor last year, is feeling relief Thursday evening after a guilty verdict.

After 2 hours of deliberation, jurors found 60 year old Walton Henry Butler guilty of second degree murder.

Family members of 32 year old Everett Gant say Thursday's guilty verdict is something they've been waiting to hear.

Cas Gant, Gant's Uncle, said, "Everett's voice was heard and he is not forgotten so this is his moment to speak and so the jury has spoken for him."

Gant went to 60 year old Walton Henry Butler's apartment, at Port St. Joe's Pine Ridge apartment complex, in July 2012, to ask him to stop using racial slurs around the neighborhood's children.

When Gant knocked on the sliding glass door, Butler shot him in the head with a 22-caliber rifle.

Gant died about a month later at Bay Medical Sacred Heart.
Butler's attorney tried to convince jurors butler killed Gant in self-defense, but the jury didn't buy it.

Gant's family says the guilty verdict is justice in their eyes, but it will never fill the gap in their hearts.

They said, "Everett's life was taken. He will never ever get that chance again to hug his mom and love his entire family and say good things that he's said to his dad."

Butler's family declined to comment on camera, but said it's tough for them to see Butler heading to prison.

As for the Gants, they says this moment is giving them some closure.

"We'll go home and enjoy this moment of remembering Everett and certainly remember the times we had and laughter and joy and all of those things," family said.

Butler is facing a possible life sentence.

Sentencing will take place December 12th.