- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A judge sentenced a Lexington Park teenager on Monday to serve out the balance of a 30-day jail sentence from his guilty plea to a weapons charge from his arrest last May at Nicolet Park, where police reported finding him in possession of a loaded .357-caliber revolver.
Trevon Marquise Butler, now 18, told the judge he had been threatened.
St. Mary’s Assistant State’s Attorney John Pleisse said that Butler’s explanations for his conduct also caused concerns when he and a friend earlier were accused of shooting BB guns toward a dog.
“Trevon just doesn’t seem to want to deal with reality,” Pleisse said, and that carried over in the case involving the Smith & Wesson firearm.
“He never admitted how he got it from his deceased grandfather’s house,” the prosecutor said. “He said he planned to shoot that round [in the gun] in the ground, scare whoever was attacking him. Trevon doesn’t want to ’fess up to what’s going on. He needs to be incarcerated. He needs to sit and think about what he has done.”
Butler, a resident of the Southampton community, was confronted by police in a field at the park shortly after 9:30 p.m. on May 7, and court papers state the teenager “appeared to be extremely nervous and fidgety” as a St. Mary’s sheriff’s deputy questioned him and got his permission to check to see if he had anything illegal.
“I began to pat him down when I heard a thud,” sheriff’s deputy David Potter wrote in a statement of probable cause. “When I looked down, I observed a dark-colored revolver handgun between the defendant’s feet.”
The gun had a .38-Special round in the cylinder, “so that when the hammer was cocked, the round would move into place to be fired,” the deputy wrote in the charging document. Butler was charged as an adult and pleaded guilty later that month to the possession of a regulated firearm while under the age of 21.
Public defender Gerald Riviello, Butler’s lawyer, said Monday in court that his client was doing well in 10th grade, playing football and working in a restaurant before the incident. The lawyer said Butler served a week in a state juvenile facility and a week in the county jail. “He has experienced both of those,” Riviello said.
Butler told the judge, “It was a mistake. I wish I had taken it back. I was threatened. I was in a situation.”
St. Mary’s Circuit Judge Michael J. Stamm said he remembered the earlier matter involving the BB gun.
“Every single time you appear in front of me, you always have an excuse,” Stamm said. “Now you’re saying somebody was out to get you and that’s why you were carrying a .357 in the middle of the night. With your history, it makes me question if you were telling the truth.”
The judge sentenced Butler to two years in prison, suspended to the 30-day jail term with credit for 14 days served and permission to attend school. The judge also warned Butler to get in no further trouble during three years of supervised probation.
“You will get every single day of your backup time,” Stamm said.