Circuit Court Updates April 2, 2014

Bobby Ray Hancock

A charge of tampering with a witness against Bobby Ray Hancock was dismissed in Linn County Circuit Court on March 20 before Judge Thomas A. McHill pursuant to plea negotiations.

For contempt of court, Hancock was sentenced to 30 days in jail with credit for time served and fined $500. The sentence was deemed served.

The actions stemmed from a case in which Hancock was acquitted by jury of first-degree manslaughter and tampering with physical evidence but was convicted of driving under the influence in connection to a motorcycle crash that killed Victoria Sophia Richards on Sept. 24, 2011 on Foster Dam Road just south of the spillway gate structure.

Thomas Earl McMullen

Thomas Earl McMullen pleaded no contest to third-degree assault and was sentenced to 19 months in prison and fined $200 on March 13.

As part of plea negotiations, four charges were dismissed, including unlawful use of a weapon, Menacing, second-degree assault and recklessly endangering another person.

He was arrested and charged on Nov. 7 after allegedly shooting James Warrington in the leg with an arrow following a verbal argument.

James Alan Butler

A case of sexual abuse and sodomy against James Alan Butler was dismissed in Linn County Circuit Court on Feb. 28 because the defendant had died on Jan. 14.

Trial had been set for Jan. 14. He had been charged with first-degree sexual abuse, two counts of first-degree sodomy, using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct and two counts of encouraging child sexual abuse in the second-degree.

Albany police arrested Butler on Jan. 25 at his residence in Sweet Home.

Butler owned operated a martial arts business, Academy of Fighting Arts in Albany, from the mid to late 1980s through 2000. The business specialized in teaching martial arts to children. The charges stemmed from incidents that allegedly occurred at the business.