Buterbaugh Gets Time For Third-Degree Murder
Forty- twoyear old Gerald “Choo” Buterbaugh cried throughout last Wednesday’s sentencing proceedings before Court of Common Pleas Judge Richard Walsh, who handed down a state prison sentence of 15 to 40 years for third-degree murder. Held in Franklin County Prison without bail since his arrest, Buterbaugh was granted one-year credit for time served.
Extending his sympathy to the families of Buterbaugh and murder victim Dale Steven Henry, the judge noted his heart goes out to those affected by the case.
Henry, formerly of Burnt Cabins, suffered fatal injuries while standing outside the Hillside Tavern located at 19359 Fannettsburg Road West in Metal Township, Franklin County. He had reportedly been arguing with several men who then got into a green 1980s model truck. The truck, driven by Buterbaugh of 243 North Clear Ridge Road, backed out of the parking lot before pulling forward and striking Henry. After the impact, the truck was last observed travelling westbound from the accident scene at a high rate of speed.
Henry, 32, was immediately transported by helicopter to Altoona Regional Trauma Center, where he was pronounced brain dead almost 12 hours later by Blair County Coroner Patricia Ross.
Henry’s mother, an emotional Denise Rodriguez, was among those on hand at sentencing to speak about the tragic loss, which coincided with the 16th birthday of Henry’s daughter. Around a dozen letters were submitted to the court by Henry’s loved ones, while just shy of 100 correspondences, ranging from letters to greeting cards, were turned in by supporters of Buterbaugh.
As a follow-up to last Wednesday’s sentence, Buterbaugh has 10 days to file any post-sentence motions appealing the judge’s decision. He also has 30 days to appeal the matter directly to the state Superior Court through his newly acquired attorney, David Foster. Defense attorney Christopher Sheffield previously represented the Fulton County man and asked the judge to consider imposing a minimum mandatory sentence of 94 months.