Despite never having touched the murder weapon himself, a Tampa man is facing murder charges in the death of a friend.
Hillsborough County authorities say Daundrea Lamar Butler and his friend Ecru Richardson were engaged in the sale of illicit drugs late last week when the sale took a turn for the worse. Authorities assert that the pair conducted the deal at a local apartment complex, with Butler at the wheel and Richardson his passenger.
According to investigators, Richardson left the vehicle to approach his opposite number in the transaction. The party, who police as yet have been unable to identify, shot and wounded Richardson, and both fled the scene.
Richardson arrived at the vehicle in obvious distress, prompting Butler to race him to a nearby hospital. Unfortunately the hospital staff’s efforts at repairing Richardson’s wounds were in vain, and his life ended later that evening.
Though Butler acted to save Richardson’s life, prosecutors are charging him under Florida’s felony-murder statute. The concept, which originated in English common law and has been codified into Florida statutes, generally holds that a person who commits a dangerous crime is legally responsible for the consequences of that crime, whether those consequences are intended or not.
Butler was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail later that afternoon on a count of third-degree murder. He was subsequently released after posting a $15,000 bond.