Dad CLARENCE BUTTERFIELD has been indicted for the torture and murder of his 21-year-old daughter in 2006. The woman's body was found in Dad's recreational vehicle freezer two years later.
December 08, 2009 6:07 PM
Father indicted in murder, torture of daughter
By ANDREW GALVIN
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Clarence Butterfield, accused of killing his daughter and keeping her body in a freezer in a recreational vehicle in San Clemente, was indicted today on a murder charge, prosecutors said.
Butterfield was already in custody, having been charged in a criminal complaint last year. The indictment means prosecutors can skip a preliminary hearing in the case and move on to trial.
Butterfield, 55, is expected to be arraigned Dec. 15 on one felony count of special circumstances murder during the commission of torture and mayhem one felony count of assault with a firearm. The charges make him eligible for the death penalty, the Orange County District Attorney's Office said.
Butterfield is accused of torturing and murdering his 21-year-old daughter, Rebekah Butterfield, and hiding the body in the freezer of his RV in December 2006. He is accused of shooting his daughter several times and killing her by suffocation.
In September 2008, Butterfield was arrested for obstructing a police officer in an unrelated case in Orange County and was sent to Nevada on an unrelated criminal warrant from that state. His RV, which was left in the alley of an acquaintance's business in San Clemente, was towed.
On Oct. 28, 2008, employees from AC Towing Inc. in San Clemente discovered a corpse stuffed into the 5-foot horizontal freezer of Butterfield's RV, which was being stored on AC Towing's lot. Sheriff's deputies were called to the site and found Rebekah Butterfield's body, badly decomposed and wrapped in several layers of plastic, inside the freezer, prosecutors said.
Butterfield, who was still in custody in Las Vegas when his daughter's body was discovered, was charged with her murder on Oct. 30, 2008. He was brought back to Orange County from Las Vegas in April.