Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Wes Adams announced today that Jason Tyler Butler, of Odenton, was given a 25-year sentence from Circuit Court Judge Michele Jaklitsch yesterday on charges including issuing false documentation, felony theft, and second degree burglary. Judge Jaklitsch also ordered restitution in the form of civil judgments and refused to consider a modification of the sentence at this time. Butler pled guilty on January 6th, 2016.
“I am grateful to Judge Michele Jaklitsch for recognizing the threat that this defendant presents to Anne Arundel County residents,” said Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Wes Adams. “I appreciate that Judge Jaklitsch held this criminal responsible for his actions.”
Butler appealed two sentences, one for a period of ten years and the other of fifteen years, which he was originally ordered to serve concurrently by District Court Judge Reilly. In the first case, Butler stole tens of thousands of dollars of property and forged checks of a victim whom he had terrified for months. In the second case, Butler pled guilty to second degree burglary. The victim in the second case was a stranger to Butler.
In the first case, Butler was hired by Leigh Lawson, also of Odenton, as a contractor to do work on her home. Butler gained Ms. Lawson’s trust and access to her home and office. Over the course of approximately 7 months, he stole and pawned tens of thousands of dollars of family heirlooms and valuables that were handed down over multiple generations to Ms. Lawson, some of which included her grandmother’s engagement ring, as well as her father’s wedding band and class ring. Butler also stole checks of Ms. Lawson and attempted to forge her signature and cash the checks. Butler sold Ms. Lawson’s property valued at $29,950. Ms. Lawson told prosecutors that she feared for her well-being, especially when he was abusing drugs.
Butler is no stranger to the justice system with a criminal record stemming back to 1998, including charges of malicious destruction of property, theft, drug possession, and burglary. Butler has continuously violated court orders with 7 violations of probation.
“For 17 years, Mr. Butler has skirted accountability in our criminal justice system,” said Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Wes Adams. “Mr. Butler is an example of an everyday criminal who revolves through the court system and threatens the quality of life for our citizens,” said Adams.
The victim in the first case, Leigh Lawson, re-shared a statement she made in the August 10th, 2015 media alert:
“Our office serves victims,” said Adams. “A victim should always feel safe stepping forward to share their story with the well-trained prosecutors in my office. My office is determined to hold assailants accountable and deliver justice to the victim.”
In the second case, Butler stole approximately $3,000 worth of copper wiring and other items – including a bathtub, a furnace and a radiator – from an unoccupied residence in Crownsville, MD.
Source: AACo State’s Attorney