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Reputed drug dealer charged with first-degree homicide in November 8 fatal shooting

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Dennis James Butler, 49, who was already in the Alachua County Jail serving a sentence for driving without a valid license, was charged yesterday with first-degree homicide in a November 8 fatal shooting.

On November 8, the victim went to Butler’s home at about 1:17 p.m. and found Butler sitting in a Lexus sedan in his driveway, facing the street.

Butler allegedly shot the victim eight times, then drove away, discarding his cell phone in northeast Gainesville, where it was later recovered by law enforcement.

Officers responding to the shooting reportedly found eight 9mm shell casings near where the victim was found, all of which were Federal brand.

A search warrant was obtained for Butler’s home, and several boxes of Federal brand 9mm ammunition were reportedly found, along with an empty box for a Walther 9mm handgun. Officers also reported finding a “significant amount” of white powdery residue on several measuring cups, scales, and baggies throughout the house.

A witness in the case described Butler as a “medium level” drug dealer.

Butler remained at large until November 15, when he appeared in court in Gainesville on a charge of driving without a valid license; he entered a plea of nolo contendere to a felony charge of driving without a license as a habitual offender, was sentenced to 120 days in jail, and was taken into custody to begin serving that sentence. He was also charged with possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, with bond set at $250,000.

The Lexus was later found in Gilchrist County.

Butler’s phone records reportedly showed at least 148 phone communications between him and the victim in the month leading up to the murder, with the last call at 12:55 p.m. on the day of the murder. A witness told an officer that he had heard the victim saying repeatedly, “I ain’t got it” to the male voice on the phone.

Butler has nine felony convictions and has served one state prison sentence following a third DUI conviction; he also has a federal criminal history. All of his convictions since 2010 are for either DUI or driving without a valid license.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

    • Who’s the 2? Because I hope you’re not talking about the victim???

      • Just a wild guess here but: 1. Butler – he’s going away for a while.
        2. The victim – in all likelihood he’s a victim of not only Butler but his own makings. Maybe the victim was a low level dealer. Maybe a drug addict.
        From the story he knew the assailant. Think of the story as an end of season cliffhanger – you have to wait for the new season to start before you know the real answer. Until then, we get to make our own assumptions.

        On the other hand, if the victim was apologizing because he didn’t have:
        1. The correct time
        2. The homework he promised
        3. The name of the girl he wanted to meet
        4. The reason GRU keeps increasing their rates

        I’ll be the first to apologize.

        • The guy sure looks like a hard-boiled psycho. Who else has he killed? Maybe look into that instead of blaming the victim.

          • I know the victim wasn’t. If the murderer was I’d sure like to see proof! He’s been circulating around town making babies and selling dope all of his pitiful life!

          • I actually no this guy grew up with his not a bad guy just had a rough life but still no excuse for taking someone else’s life the dude would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it so maybe him and the victim had a deeper disagreement but still no excuse to take his life alot of times a simple talk can clear up alot you got guys who wanna act like they on boys n the hood menace to society type junk things us those ppl are on TV and get paid to entertain not take lives it’s a lot of character chasing on the streets somebody wanna be the next Scarface nino brown Boston George El Chapo it’s ridiculous you take this life cause he making more money than u just sad that this is the world we live in it’s not just in Gainesville it’s every where the same ish

        • Why would you make such assumptions. Based on your idiotic comments my assumption of you is that you are a short, uneducated, low class POS. What if someone was writing this about your deceased child? Never think that this couldn’t happen to yours IF you are capable of making any!

  • Are lawyers and judges skimming drug money? This guy has a low IQ and waits til the victim comes to his house before shooting him? That’s how inept our local justice system is, he reached 49 too.

  • Now where the hell am I gonna get my medication from? A real doctor? That’s gonna cost me a fortune! I tell you what though, you gotta be dumb if you leave the exact bullets and gun case in your home used in a crime. Especially when you have 148 calls to the victim in that month! I mean maybe we should start requiring an education for drug dealers how bout that. Take some of that war money we be sending and use it to educate these guys. That way we wouldn’t have to be spending all this time and money to ruin 2 people’s lives. Maybe the victim overdosed and the first couple shots were to wake him up. Then when that didn’t work he was already dead, so why not put 8 bullets in someone. I hope he really tuned in the scope on that thing considering all the buttholes he’s gonna be playing with for the rest of his life. Hold your breath buddy, im sick of paying for you to die. Help us all out. Maybe it’ll save me like ½ a cent come tax time

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