The jury trial of a Defiance man who led local law enforcement officers on a violent vehicle pursuit in November is scheduled to begin next week in Defiance County Common Pleas Court.
Cameron Butler, 34, 1001 Sunday St., is charged with four counts of felonious assault, including one first-degree felony and three second-degree felonies; failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony; inducing panic, a fourth-degree felony; and three counts of vandalism, each a fifth-degree felony.
Butler was indicted by a Defiance County grand jury in December following the Nov. 24 pursuit.
The charges allege that he intentionally struck a city police cruiser outside the police department on Perry Street. He then allegedly left the scene, failed to stop when ordered by officers and led them on a pursuit in Defiance, causing harm to three citizens by striking their vehicles.
The indictment also alleges that during the pursuit Butler damaged three law enforcement vehicles that he ran into. The chase ended on Carter Avenue on the city’s northside where Butler’s vehicle was stopped and he was arrested.
Because Butler allegedly had struck other vehicles, a pursuing county sheriff’s deputy fired a shot at his vehicle on East Second Street in an attempt to stop him, knocking out a back window. No one was injured.
In reference to plea negotiations with Butler’s attorney — Elizabeth Smith of Kalida — which failed to resolve the case, Defiance County Prosecutor Morris Murray said he expects the trial to commence Monday.
“It appears that the case is going to go forward to trial,” he said early Thursday evening. “We would expect it to take probably three days, and we expect to call somewhere around 12 to 15 witnesses.”
Smith had filed a motion in November requesting that Butler be evaluated by the Court Diagnostic and Treatment Center, Toledo. Judge Joseph Schmenk granted the motion, but based on the results of the evaluation, he ruled in May that Butler is competent to stand trial.
Butler is being held in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio on a $1 million cash bond with a 10 percent allowance provision.