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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

Robber shot in invasion faces life in prison

Thomas A. Butler's home-invasion robbery last year didn't just earn him two bullets to his belly - it earned him a permanent spot in prison.

A Spokane County jury today convicted Butler, 26, of six felonies. Under the state's three strikes law, he faces life in prison without parole because of previous convictions, said Deputy Prosecutor Larry Haskell.

The case began when Butler forced his way into a home at 4113 E. 16th Ave., on March 20, 2009, where three Eastern Washington University seniors lived. One of the residents shot Butler.

Detectives believe Butler and accused accomplice Derick D. Taylor, 29, had an inflated impression of what they might find in the home.

A jury convicted Butler of first-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery, first-degree robbery and two counts of first-degree assault. He was acquitted of two count of first-degree robbery. Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza presided over the trial.

Taylor, the co-defendant, is out of jail on $250,000 bond. His trial is set for June.

Past coverage:

Intruders hunting valuables, police say

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