News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2007

Suspect has
record of rape

Man facing charges in attack on in-laws was on probation for sword-point kidnapping, sexual assault

By Holly Hollman 340-2445

ATHENS — A man facing rape, sodomy, kidnapping and other charges in a Sunday attack on his in-laws was on probation for the rape and kidnapping of a teen he threatened with a sword seven years ago.

The Limestone County Sheriff's Department charged Tommy Wayne Butler, 29, of McLemore Circle, Athens, and his neph-ew, Michael Wayne Butler, 16, of 13510 Blackburn Road, Lot 2, Athens, in the Sunday attack on Tommy Butler's father-in-law and mother-in-law. Authorities charged the nephew as an adult.

Sheriff Mike Blakely said they threatened the couple with a knife, tied up the father-in-law and sexually assaulted the mother-in-law.

Tommy Butler was on probation after serving five years for the July 2000 attack on an 18-year-old female acquaintance.

The teen was at Tommy Butler's mobile home on Newby Road when he grabbed a sword and threatened her.

He was convicted of raping and kidnapping her.

He forced her to drive around Limestone County while he sat in the passenger's seat holding a sword, according to Sheriff's Department reports.

When Tommy Butler passed out, the victim pulled over at a Salem convenience store and got help. Butler woke up, saw she was gone and fled on foot. Tracking dogs found him hiding under bleachers at West Limestone High School.

Blakely said the Sunday attack on the in-laws erupted after Tommy Butler fought with his wife at Cowford Campgrounds. He left his wife and stepchildren at the site and drove with his nephew to his in-laws'. Blakely said that, after the attack, Tommy Butler and his nephew allegedly took the in-laws' money and extra gas.

Authorities charged both with first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, two counts of first-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary and two counts of first-degree robbery.

Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt said authorities also added a first-degree sexual abuse charge against Michael Butler.

Michael Butler's bond is $800,000. Tommy Butler's bond is $700,000. They still were in jail Monday evening.

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