Monday, August 9, 2010

Lawyer: dad with history of DV kept daughter's dead body "out of love" (Santa Ana, California)

Where is my puke bag when I need it? The lawyer of dad CLARENCE BUTTERFIELD says Dad kept the body of his dead daughter "out of love." That she died of carbon monoxide poisoning--guess she just accidentally walked in front of seven bullets right before then? Then Dad put her in a freezer while she was still alive. Is anybody really surprised that daddy had a history of domestic violence against this girl's mother (who left him) as well as the girl?

We've posted on this case before.

Lawyer: Father kept daughter's body out of love

The Associated Press
Published: Monday, Aug. 9, 2010 - 8:00 am
Last Modified: Monday, Aug. 9, 2010 - 3:20 pm

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- A man accused of torturing and killing his daughter kept her body in a freezer for two years because he loved her and couldn't bear to be parted, a defense attorney told jurors Monday.

Clarence Butterfield, 57, also was afraid nobody would believe him after he found his daughter dead, attorney Lisa Eyanson said in her opening statement in the Orange County Superior Court trial.

Butterfield, who is charged with murder and assault with a firearm, could face life in prison without a chance of parole if convicted.

The former San Clemente man is accused of killing his 21-year-old daughter, Rebekah Butterfield, in December 2006 inside the recreational vehicle they shared. Prosecutors contend that he shot her seven times with a small-caliber gun in the leg, foot, knee, the side of her head and elsewhere to torture her, then hog-tied her and stuffed her into the RV's freezer, where she suffocated.

"She was still alive" when Butterfield placed her in the five-foot horizontal freezer, said county Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh.

Butterfield had a history of domestic violence against his daughter and ex-wife, Catherine Butterfield, who left him in 2004, authorities said.

However, his attorney portrayed the construction worker as a loving father who tried unsuccessfully to revive his daughter after he found her on the floor of his motorhome.

"The reason he did not report it was because he didn't think anyone would believe him," Eyanson told the jury.

Instead, he placed her in the freezer.

"He couldn't bear to part with Rebekah," Eyanson said. "He told investigators that he remembered reading in the Bible that as long as you have the bones and you have faith, maybe the person could be resurrected, could come back."

Butterfield continued to live in the 1995 Chevrolet Tioga in Orange County until he was stopped for a traffic violation at Dana Point in September 2008 and authorities discovered that he was wanted in Nevada on unrelated charges, authorities said.

He was sent to Nevada to serve time and the RV was left in the alley of an acquaintance's business in Capistrano Beach until it was towed the next month.

Employees of a San Clemente towing company discovered the badly decomposed body wrapped in plastic inside the unplugged freezer, which was sealed with duct tape, authorities said.

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